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Wednesday, August 1 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Research Paper Panel: Virtual Learning Design and How Games Portray Empathy and Mental Illness

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Learning and Identity in Virtual Learning Environments: Iterative Design and Implementation of Philadelphia Land Science
Mamta Shah, Aroutis Foster, Amanda Barany, Jessica Cellitti, Migela Duka, Zachari Swiecki, Amanda Siebert-Evenstone, Hannah Kinley, Peter Quigley, David Williamson Shaffer

In this study, we developed, implemented, and refined Philadelphia Land Science (PLS), a virtual learning environment (VLE) intended to support high school students' exploration of career roles in environmental science and urban planning as a future possible self. PLS was developed using Projective Reflection which frames learning as identity exploration over time to inform the design of games and game-based learning curricula to facilitate intentional change in learners' knowledge, interest and valuing, self-organization and self-control, and self-perceptions and self-definitions in academic domains/careers. PLS was built by modifying the Epistemic game Land Science. This paper explicates design iterations of PLS that were implemented in a science museum in Philadelphia. This work contributes to the burgeoning area of education research that seeks to unleash the potentials of VLEs to promote learning as an on-going process of identity exploration and change.

Open Questions for Empathy and Games
Karen Schrier, Matthew Farber

This paper provides a systematic overview of research related to empathy and games, including investigations on game elements that have been connected to empathy, such as communication, perspective-taking, and relationship-building. We identify initial questions and current gaps in the research related to using games for empathy, and make recommendations on next steps for this burgeoning field.

Representation of Mental Illness in Video Games
Kelli Dunlap

Portrayals of mental illness appear frequently in video games and have the potential to shape cultural attitudes towards psychopathology for better or for worse. Yet research on such portrayals is practically non-existent. The limited available research focuses almost exclusively on how specific characters fit into film and television mental illness tropes. Representations of mental illness in games are broader than this; for instance, they may include settings (e.g., insane asylums) and specific terminology (e.g., clinical diagnoses). Until now, there has been no framework to help identify and categorize the many game-based representations of psychopathology. This paper puts forth a new framework that does just that in an attempt to address the limitations of previous research and to offer guidance for future game researchers and developers on how to think critically about the representation of mental illness in games.

avatar for Amanda Barany

Amanda Barany

Graduate Student, Drexel School of Education
I am a graduate student in the school of Education at Drexel University with a focus on games as tools for interest, engagement, and identity development as immersive STEM career environments. I have experience with the GLS game Citizen Science, the Fair Play project at the Wisconsin... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Farber

Matthew Farber

Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado
Matthew Farber, Ed.D. is an assistant professor of Technology, Innovation, and Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado. He has been invited to the White House, to keynote for UNESCO, and he has been interviewed about games and learning by NPR, Fox News Radio, USA Today, and... Read More →
avatar for Kat Schrier

Kat Schrier

Innovator of Games for Good, Marist College
Dr. Kat (Karen) Schrier is an Associate Professor and Director of Games & Emerging Media at Marist College. She also served as a Belfer Fellow for ADL's Center for Technology & Society, where she supported research and design work related to games, empathy, inclusion, and bias reduction... Read More →
avatar for Mamta  Shah

Mamta Shah

Postdoctoral Scholar, Drexel University
Mamta Shah is a postdoctoral scholar of Learning Technologies in the School of Education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She teaches and conducts research on the theoretical and practical applications of teaching, learning, and assessing with digital environments such as... Read More →

Wednesday August 1, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
Media Lab - Lecture Hall, 6th Floor, Building E14 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA