As the Occupy Movement reignites a long-simmering debate about inequality in the United States and connects up with global struggles for social justice, what role can games play in fostering this movement? In many ways, the learning principles embodied by games promote the kind of agency, collaboration, and problem-solving skills that this movement requires. Beyond just discussing examples of “games for change” (there is an “Occupy: The Game,” btw), I’d like to focus on the art of making critical/radical games, what Mary Flanagan has called game design for “critical play.” Here are some questions we might discuss, though more are welcome:
1. What are the elements of a critical game design theory and praxis?
2. How does critical game design differ from traditional game design?
3. What can critical game designers learn from the Occupy Movement, and vice-versa?
4. What new opportunies do developing game platforms–mobile, social, and casual gaming–have to offer an emerging critical gaming culture?
5. How can ARG techniques and technologies be utilized to mobilize and organize more effectively?
6. How can educators use game-based learning to level-up Critical Pedagogy, producing what I would call a “Critical Gaming Pedagogy?”
Let’s form a general assembly and occupy a session. People’s mic optional.