–James Paul Gee, Good Video Games + Good Learning (7)
There is a prejudice that a video game “…has nothing to do with anything so ponderous as ’learning’. This is because school has made many people believe that pleasure and learning have nothing to do with one another. But this is untrue…So the real paradox is not that pleasure and learning go together, but, rather, how and why school manages to separate them.” (29)
It’s a poor thing not to have seen my presentation “Can Video Games Find a Home in Aesthetics? Video Games and the Institutional Theory of Art.” However the essay should become available soon in the ICA 2013 Proceedings.
In the meantime here is the presentation in PDF form, just for you.
Ironically, the presentation is aesthetically terrible because I used Keynote for the first time to make it. However its purpose is to just be an accessible summary.
“Can Video Games find a Place in Aesthetics? Video Games and the Institutional Theory of Art.” Paper presentation at the 19th International Congress of Aesthetics, Krakow, Poland, July 21-27, 2013.
It’s out! Buy it now! It’s actually pretty cheap, so come on already.
“Lies were more Dependable than the Truth.” In Ender’s Game and Philosophy, eds. D.E. Wittkower and Lucinda Rush, 213-222. Chicago: Open Court, November, 2013.
Forgive the absence, you see I was busy completing my Master of Arts. It’s a pretty great excuse to drop; much better than “the dog ate my homework” or
“I was abducted by Tralfamadorians.”
Also, be it known Universities that Medieval weaponry would be a much better reward than paper with fancy fonts and signatures. I’m a Master damnit! Where’s my battleaxe of wisdom and silver codpiece of critical thinking (TM!)??
–Freeman Dyson, “Our Biotech Future”
“Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer. New lineages will proliferate to replace those that monoculture farming and deforestation have destroyed.”
“Cultural evolution is running a thousand times faster than Darwinian evolution, taking us into a new era of cultural interdependence which we call globalization. And now, as Homo sapiens domesticates the new biotechnology, we are reviving the ancient pre-Darwinian practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species.”
“‘It is becoming increasingly clear that to understand living systems in any deep sense, we must come to see them not materialistically, as machines, but as stable, complex, dynamic organization.’” –Carl Woese
I could quote much more; it’s an obscenely quotable article.
Just read it.
With the success of the Chapman Honors course “Science Fiction: Questioning Reality,” a few honors students and I submitted a proposal for a presentation at the upcoming national honors conference. We were accepted, and became part of the “46th Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council.” It was a great conference, a fun time, and a chance to promote our University’s newly crafted pedagogical methods on a national level. (And to think it all started off with my indignation that the English department wouldn’t teach a sci-fi class).
Emma Castor, Carmichael Peters, Collin Pointon, and Michael Rushman
Title: When Students Teach: The Honors Preceptorial
Description: Preceptorials are designed and run by students. Students from Chapman University’s Honors Program created and taught the preceptorial HON-329 Science Fiction: Questioning Reality. Each participant brought forward material to present and discuss. Free of the influence of academic superiors, students learned from peers in a uniquely diverse intellectual atmosphere.
(Check out a PDF of the Powerpoint):
Below is some information about my class that I designed and led at Chapman University in 2011. To my knowledge, it was the first humanities based science fiction course at Chapman and definitely the first ever student-run course. I’m hoping that posting this will breed ideas in students, faculty, and sci-fi enthusiasts about (1) sci-fi in higher education contexts and (2) student-run classes. The links, quotes, and references near the end are especially informative for a comprehensive view of sci-fi.
Interterm 2011 Course Number: HON 329 Classroom: DeMille 146
Course Title: Science Fiction: Questioning Reality
Credits: 3 Prerequisites: none
I COURSE DESCRIPTION
1. Preceptorials are courses designed by students on themes they find interesting and want to study more deeply. They represent an opportunity for students to exchange ideas and learn from each other while drawing on the guidance of the faculty preceptor.
2. This preceptorial will analyze themes and questions examined in Science Fiction. The sources for learning will include SF’s most popular and lasting stories in a variety of media. Secondary sources will also be used frequently. The readings should foster vibrant discussions in class on ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, and more.
–Jean Baudrillard on Disneyland, Simulacra and Simulation (13).
–Augustine of Hippo, Confessions Book I, xiii (22).
It was customary in the Roman Empire, when seeing a prestigious person, to pass through multiple doorways covered with curtains or veils. The more veils to pass through, the more prestigious the person. For Augustine, the school’s veils were not truthfully an indication of wisdom within but rather strategic ostentation. A similar metaphor appears in Ellison’s Invisible Man:
“Then in my mind’s eye I see the bronze statue of the college Founder, the cold Father symbol, his hands outstretched in the breathtaking gesture of lifting a veil that flutters in hard, metallic folds above the face of a kneeling slave; and I am standing puzzled, unable to decide whether the veil is really being lifted, or lowered more firmly in place; whether I am witnessing a revelation or a more efficient blinding.” –p.36
Can’t say it better than Luke McKinney: “Watch the video. There is nothing better you could do with nine minutes.”
“The only reason it won’t win Oscars is because we have to let people who only pretend to be awesome have their little prizes. In fact, this isn’t just special effects, this is an entire action movie. You’ve got the amazing kick-off scene, the unbelievable escalation of literally everything, the moment of crisis as the boosters break away from the shuttle (the heartbreaking sight of the shining Orbiter continuing on without you as you tumble through space kicks the emotional hell out of every romance, drama, and tragedy ever made), before the terminal action of plummeting through flames back to Earth”
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-real-science-experiments-clearly-designed-by-michael-bay_p2/#ixzz2U9bZvnmV