[Blueboard] Trivial pursuits? A Panel Discussion on the Good, the Evil, the Promises, and the Pitfalls of Digital Gaming

Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo, PhD mrodrigo at ateneo.edu
Tue Jul 23 10:27:46 PHT 2013

Trivial Pursuits?
A Panel Discussion on the Good, the Evil, the Promises, and the Pitfalls of
Digital Gaming
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
4:30 to 6:00
Escaler Hall

Games are fun.  Whether we are out slaying dragons in Skyrim, hurling Angry
Birds at thieving little piggies, harvesting tomatoes in Farmville, or
detonating candy bombs in the Candy Crush Saga, we love our games and we
love playing them.  Exactly how much fun games are is economically
quantifiable:  The global digital game industry was worth an estimated US$60
billion in 2011 and is estimated to grow to US$80 billion by 2014.  Despite
their pervasiveness and their commercial success, however, digital games
still struggle for acceptance as more than just trivial pursuits.  At best,
critics regard games as distractions that perform no social or cultural
function.  At worst, games are thought to raise a generation of socially
inept and morally questionable game addicts.

Do games truly deserve this bad a reputation?  Are they a waste of time and
resources?  Are games in fact harmful?  Do they capitalize on our need for
escape and take us away from more important concerns?  Alternatively, is it
possible that games represent new ways of engagement, interaction, and
expression?  Can they be venues for intelligent discourse?  The purpose of
this panel discussion is to address some of these questions and concerns.
Our lineup of speakers from the Philosophy, Psychology, Communication, and
Sociology and Anthropology departments will help us gain a better
appreciation of digital games as art, as social artifacts, as communication
media, and to understand their impact on us as individuals and on society as
a whole.  We enjoin the members of the community to participate in what is
certain to be a lively discussion because, regardless of how we might feel
about digital games, one thing is certain: They are here to stay.
Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo, Ph.D.
Head, Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences
Professor, Department of Information Systems and Computer Science
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City,
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel/Fax: +63 2 426 6071
Email: mrodrigo at ateneo.edu 

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