Intersection of Games and Education

Date: Oct 24, 2021 7:10 am (PST)
Duration: 0:50
Meg Baker, Daniel Kwan, Mahar Mangahas, Jonaya Kemper
Speaker headshots
In our earliest experiences of play, as toddlers, we are learning about our world and ourselves. As we grow up, how does that change, and why, and how do we reconnect with our innate human birthright of playful learning? How can games help us teach, and learn, inside and outside a classroom? How does play motivate us to learn and grow as people? Join this panel of game designers and teachers to examine the fruitful intersection of games and education!

  • Daniel Kwan is a former archaeologist turned Gold ENnie Award winning podcaster, game designer, and cultural consultant. You might know him from the ENnie Award winning Asians Represent! podcast or his independent game design work (Wicked Congregation, Ross Rifles, and the Chronicles of Spring & Autumn series). As a freelance narrative designer, he co-authored the best selling Unbreakable (vol 1) anthology and Candlekeep Mysteries adventure supplements for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Daniel is also one of the co-founders of Level Up Gaming, a Toronto-based organization that provides adults with autism and other disabilities opportunities to develop their social skills through group gaming experiences.

  • Jonaya Kemper (she/fae/femme/they) is a game designer, educator, and activist, who specializes in the power of transformative games within marginalized populations. A graduate of NYU’s Gallatin Graduate School, Jonaya traveled the world to explore how embodied roleplay experiences like larp, can transform marginalized player’s perspectives of self. Their theory of emancipatory bleed garnered the prestigious E. Francis White Award for work that has impact and significance beyond the academy. Working across the game design spectrum to create innovative, engaging gameplay and equitable spaces, they have helped design large scale international events in stunning locations like Atropos’ Forbidden History, to smaller intimate experiences like Feeding Lucy, which can be found in Honey and Hot Wax: An Anthology of Erotic Art Games distributed by Pelgrane Press. Currently Jonaya is the Lead Game Designer of the NSF funded P3G project at Carnegie Mellon University where she also teaches embodied game design.

  • Mahar Mangahas (they/all pronouns) is a queer game designer from the Philippines who currently lives and works in Hong Kong. They make games that are meaningful tools that reflect their cultures and background in music, theatre, and psychology.  Mahar specialises in dramaturgy, or someone who looks at the theory and practice behind a dramatic composition or narrative. Next year, they mark 19 years in the education sector.

  • Meguey Baker (she/her) has been involved in game design for education in topics ranging from recovering speech after a stroke, to scaffolding relationships between at-risk teenage girls, to helping new parents navigate postpartum depression, to expeditionary archaeology for 4th grade students, to sex ed for teens and adults, to LARP for 7th-12th grade students. Meg has played games to learn things and teach things for most of her 50 years, and sometimes that shows up in her games like Under Hollow Hills, Playing Nature's Year, and Apocalypse World. She lives in New England with her husband and frequent co-designer Vincent Baker and their three children, all of whom play and design games as well.

Panel Video

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