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Online Sites for Generative Play Kim Flintoff ECU / QUT Supported by ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) through the Professional Development Travel Fund. ANAT is assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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An different version of my "Online Sites for Generative Play" presentation - prepared for the NXTGEN ICT conference for ECAWA.


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Online Sites forGenerative Play

Kim Flintoff


Supported by ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) through the Professional Development Travel Fund. ANAT is assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and

advisory body.

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New thinking for new worlds

• “Generative Play”• Prensky’s “new paradigm”• Critical pedagogy• Transformative pedagogy• Social-constructivist• Student-centred – student-led• Autonomous learning• Creation as learning

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New worlds for new thinking

• Immersive environments• 3D social worlds• Games engines• Networked game spaces• Alternate reality games• Augmented reality games

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My adventures in Second Life

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ROLE-PLAYING GAMES are DRAMATIC “role-playing games are theatrical

in a non-traditional but thrilling way. players are both actors and audience for one another, and the events they portray often have the immediacy of personal experience”

janet horowitz murray janet horowitz murray ““hamlet on the holodeck”hamlet on the holodeck”

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Games are not exceptional “…what’s at stake in them can range from

very little to the entirety of one’s material, social and cultural capital…”

“…games as grounded in human experience and as fundamentally…”

Thomas M. Malaby Thomas M. Malaby

““Stopping Play: a new approach to games”Stopping Play: a new approach to games”

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Games are not exceptional “Every game is an ongoing process. As it

is played it always contains the potential for generating new practices and new meanings, possibly reconfiguring the game itself”

Thomas M. Malaby Thomas M. Malaby

““Stopping Play: a new approach to games”Stopping Play: a new approach to games”

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Drama teacher as Games master

developing digital games based process drama as performance

My current games model is not an arcade style game – it is a site where pre-text is embedded and where nothing happens unless the participants engage socially and dramatically in role.

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Drama teacher as Games master

The main goal is to repurpose technology-mediated role-play as a performative act.

Game play as performance.

Process as performance.

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Moral ambiguity

Many “games for learning” are little more than “learning objects”.

They lack ambiguity, especially moral ambiguity.

Drama process can manage moral ambiguity.

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Simplicity is a trap

“…process is often sacrificed in efforts to form taxonomies, structures, and determinative, monocausal paradigms”

Thomas M. Malaby

Stopping Play: A new approach to games

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Creativity and innovation

“Commercial games have only explored about 1 percent of the possibilities, have barely touched upon their potential for creativity and innovation”

Professor James Paul Gee

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New spaces, new paradigms

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Teaching On the Second Life Stage:

Playful Educational Strategies for Serious


A workshop at the New Media Consortium’s

Symposium on Creativity in Second Life

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Open Letter to Linden Lab StaffFebruary 20, 2009We, the undersigned, are concerned about way Second Life has moved away from its grassroots principles of freedom ofexpression and participatory culture into a sanitized Disneyland state. We recall in 2004 when Phillip Linden proudly, enthusiastically and energetically espoused his philosophical stance about Second Life:“So SL poses a new question… what if the online environment offered you MORE freedoms than the real world, in just about everyway. I assert … that we might therefore actually behave better in such a place. We might learn faster, interact more deeply, and therefore become better people, at least on some levels. Little has been written about this. I am asserting that this will only occur in an environment in which the freedoms are not a laundry list of experiences, a-la-Disneyland, but instead a fundamental ability to express yourself; these are the real freedoms. I am saying that if you have more freedoms, in an expressive sense, you might have better or at least more complex behaviour.” (Philip Linden, Second Life Herald Interview, June 21, 2004)

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Indeed, during the first three to four years of Second Life, citizenship grew to several million users precisely because of the liberties and creativities found in such an “infinite possibilities” standpoint. People entered Second Life for a multiplicity of purposes, and its success today is directly related to the opportunities provided by user created content. Collaborative creativity on a global scale was never so exciting and exhilarating, and you might even recall that in 2007, the ground-breaking educational innovators at the New Media Consortium held a symposium on creativity in Second Life.

Yet since early 2007, there has been a steady decline in the freedoms enjoyed by and afforded to our citizens. First of all, advertising and signage related to certain sexual practices was outlawed. Soon thereafter, all casinos and houses of gambling were removed. In early 2008, there was crackdown on all explicit sexual practices – the furry avatar was removed as an option at log-in, and all Gorean sims were shut down. By the end of 2008, all known sims and clubs that offered simulated sexual practices were removed without warning.

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But by far we, the undersigned, believe that the most debilitating move on Linden Lab’s part is the new TOS policy issued in January of this year, 2009, to remove all M rated sims and M rated content, even in citizen’s private homes. With 30 million users, all over 18 and adult, we cannot understand this move to reduce Second Life to Disneyland, which serves only to stifle the creativity and personal freedom of expression out of each and very one of us. Second Life is no longer a deeply compelling place for us to live, to work, and to do our business. We therefore call for an immediate return to the terms of service as set out at the beginning of 2007.(NOTE: THIS LETTER IS FICTIONAL AND DESIGNED FOR ROLE-PLAYING PURPOSES)

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