Tag Archives: games

A Digital Safe Space

I first heard the phrase “safe space” as a freshman at Brown University during the school’s Third World Transition Program.  This program was an orientation for freshmen from historically underrepresented ethnic and racial groups. Throughout the three-day orientation, we discussed the “-isms” (e.g. racism, sexism, classism) and I heard variants of the following two phrases […]

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Let’s Talk About Access

I want to talk about two things, skills and structures.  Let’s start with some numbers about social media and computer science. According to the most recent Pew Research Report, 83% of African American teens play video games, which is more than any other group. Forty five percent of Black teens reported using twitter. Sixty-four percent […]

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Rethinking How to Bridge the Digital Divide

You take a kid from the inner city, and bring her into an after-school program where she is given the lastest iPad, an Arduino Mega 2560 (with shields).  She also has unencumbered access to a laser cutter. You show her how to make three dimensional objects on the laser cutter, teach her how to program […]

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Games—A Matter of Life and Death?

Two weeks ago we were awarded a “First in the World” grant through the Fund for Innovation in Postsecondary Education. The program “provides grants to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, makes college more affordable for students and families, and develops an evidence base of effective practices.” When I listened to the […]

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Good Stuff x 2

During the 2014–2015 school year, I am very much looking forward to piloting wrap-around curriculum for the games we developed in collaboration with the USC Game Innovation Lab. The first up is FutureBound. FutureBound is a game designed to engage middle school students in learning about college. Through game play, students develop an understanding for […]

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Commissioners, Campaigns, and Crazy Kittens

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking during the public comment session at the California Student Aid Commission meeting. Every month, Governor-appointed Commissioners meet to tackle some of the challenges mentioned in the most recent string of 21st Century Scholar blog posts. We have been working closely with the Commission over the […]

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Introducing FutureBound

After many months of brainstorming, working with students, designing, developing, iterating, creating art and music, researching and oh yes, PLAYING … we are ready to share Collegeology Game’s latest game: FutureBound. You’ve read my posts about Application Crunch and Mission:Admission—two games targeted at high schools students and designed to cultivate college application strategies. This latest […]

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Lofty Aspirations, Harsh Realities

A group of four students sit huddled around a lunchtime table at a Los Angeles high school close to USC. It’s the middle of fourth period. I’m zipping through the quad after just finishing a fast-paced playtest session of the new game we’ve been developing with our collaborators from USC’s Game Innovation Lab. The new […]

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The Thursday Pop: The Day I Asked Faculty If They Play Video Games

I sometimes say stuff at work where I’m like, “Why did I say that? What did I just do?” I imagine the phone call that I’ll have with my dad later on in the day where he’ll laugh with me and say, “Be careful Kris—don’t mess up your job.” I’m a first-generation academic and while […]

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Can Games Help You Get Into College?

As many of you know, four years ago, the Pullias Center for Higher Education and Game Innovation Lab embarked on a collaboration intended to significantly improve low-income and first-generation students’ access to college information and support. Using game-based strategies, our educational researchers partnered with game designers to develop Collegeology Games, a suite of games designed […]

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