Playful Spirit / Critical Thinking

How can Players, Educators, Journalists and Game Designers encourage themselves and others to develop their critical faculties, and hopefully contribute to a new generation of thoughtful and informed citizens?

Monday, November 18 & Tuesday, November 19, 2019 – Paris



To develop a critical education to media is a key issue in our democratic societies

♦ The monitoring of traditional media – cinema, television, written press – focuses most of the attention in times of fake news and social media, while videogames as well as additional activities like streaming, forums or YouTube channels – remain the neglected stepchildren of media critics.

♦ Far from stereotypes though, the videogames published in this back to school period, have little in common with their ancestors. One need only read the title of the latest game reviews published by the prestigious daily newspaper « Le Monde » to realize that there has been a movement towards new genres of games: Heave Ho, the funniest game of the year; Telling Lies, a fascinating multimedia puzzle on the question of lying; Humankind, a French and humanist answer to Sid Meier’s Civilization…
Even the famous Fortnite, Battle Royale has pedagogical virtues: according to Antero Garcia, Byron Reeves and Denise Pope – Stanford Graduate School of Education – Fortnite encourages students to develop « teamwork, collaboration, strategic thinking, spatial understanding, and imagination ».


 How to train students to develop a critical mind towards the videogames they are playing with? How to encourage game developers to constantly expand their audience and challenge game mechanics too well oiled? How to benefit from professional journalists advice and encourage them to share with educators and gamers their analysis grids? How to help parents and educators – who have a legitimate interest in supervising the use of videogames they don’t understand – to find the right approach to moderate their children / students practice? How to contribute, again and again, to deepen their understanding of one another, and to foster the development of more caring, more sensitive, more meaningful experiences?

2 days to reach this goal

Games for Change Europe is creating two intense days of workshops, panels and plenary sessions supplied by experts, in order to help educators to better integrate videogames in critical education to Media as well as to develop critical grids both for gamers, educators and game developers willing to explore uncharted territories…

 Monday, November 18 

A series of workshops hosted at Ubisoft headquarters (Montreuil)

These workshops will allow Gamers, Parents, Educators, Game Designers and Journalists to explore the following:

Workshop #1, Video Game Analysis:
Critical Tools for the Learning-Teaching process
What critical analysis grids can be applied to video games? How to decline and specify these critical analysis grids? What are the criteria for today’s games? How to develop a critical view of the players based on the models that are proposed to them, as well as the addressed topics, provoked stimuli, and conveyed representations? More broadly, how to foster the emergence of a critical mind on video games, the media and society?
1) One or more critical analysis grids that can be used for the learning-teaching process and educational purposes in general.
2) A storyboard for the use of two video games in the classroom – one that reinforces stereotypes of the genre, the other that tries to go beyond the beaten track – in order to concretely illustrate how these critical grids are applied in a teaching-learning process setting.

Workshop #2, Video Game Development:
Stimulating Innovative Approaches
How to encourage video game developers to have a critical look at the practices that have been rooted for decades? How to explore collaboration, and not confrontation? How to prevent prioritizing « adrenaline rushes » and instead explore more subtle yet complex emotions to be felt by the player?
1) One or more « alternative » critical analysis grids.
2) A model or prototype of a video game incorporating these alternatives.

Workshop #3, Crash test:
Under the guidance of the workshop leader, participants will bring their own challenges to enlist help from the group’s collective intelligence.

As the number of places is limited to 60, we kindly ask you to confirm your participation as soon as possible. We will do our best to bring everybody in but might have to make choices based on the necessary balance between Educators, Game Designers, Games, Journalists, etc. in order to guarantee the right balance between participants during each workshop.

 Tuesday, November 19 

there will be debriefing sessions, following the Monday’s workshops, as well as keynotes, lectures and panel discussions. (Paris)

Pauline Gomy, Sophie de Quatrebarbes et Catherine Rolland,
Curatrices du Séminaire Games for Change Europe Education


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