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The Stories We Tell


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Presenter: James Collins, Digital Media Project Manager, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Every gem, artifact, and painting in a museum contains a story. How do we make games that do justice to our collections? How do we make games that go beyond teaching skills to teach an understanding of the world? Let’s rediscover the art of playful storytelling.

Published in: Education
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The Stories We Tell

  1. 1. The Stories We Tell James Collins Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access @JamesCollinsJr
  2. 2. Braid, 2008
  3. 3. Five Questions (1)Why games? (2)Why narrative? (3)How do they relate? (4)How does this connect to collections? (5)How can we implement this?
  4. 4. “Does Game-Based Learning Work? Results from Three Recent Studies” Richard Blunt  Can the use of games improve performance on tests?  Answer: Yes – sometimes by as much as 30%  But other factors are at play
  5. 5. “Level Up Learning: A National Survey on Teaching with Digital Games” Joan Ganz Cooney Center  55% of teachers use digital games weekly  71% say games are effective for math learning  47% say games benefit lowest performers the most
  6. 6. “Digital Games for Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” SRI  Digital game interventions perform better than non-game interventions  Adaptive games perform better than non-adaptive games  Non-competitive games perform better than student vs. student games
  7. 7. “Emotion and the Structure of Narrative Film: Film as an Emotion Machine” Ed Tan “When viewing any film . . . we do not only see solid bodies in motion, and understand that they represent people, but also, and perhaps above all, we feel something for the characters and are somehow moved by the sight of them.” Inside Out, 2015
  8. 8. “Is There A Text In This Class?” Stanley Fish “Interpretation is not the art of construing but the art of constructing. Interpreters do not decode poems; they make them.” Final Fantasy 7, 1997
  9. 9. Asteroid, 1979
  10. 10. “Fully Operational Fandom”
  11. 11. “Learning From Fiction: Applications in Emerging Technologies” Ruthanna Gordon “One common source of information is fiction. Although we are capable of recalling and understanding individual facts, we vastly prefer narratives that draw causal connections between the diverse elements of our world. This tendency can be distressing to experts who would prefer that people learn facts in their most accurate and clearly presented form, unadorned by irrelevancies. Fiction, after all, is not usually created with the sole or primary goal of communicating an accurate picture of the world. Nevertheless, this narrative advantage is a principle familiar to every politician who has chosen an engaging anecdote over a pie chart in attempting to influence people’s worldviews.”
  12. 12. “Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film” Seymour Chatman “[The] transposability of the story is the strongest reason for arguing that narratives are indeed structures independent of any medium.”
  13. 13. Discrete Narrative
  14. 14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, 2003
  15. 15. Prince of Persia, 2010
  16. 16. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
  17. 17. E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
  18. 18. E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
  19. 19. Discrete Narrative – Lossy Transfer Fidelity Loss
  20. 20. Jurassic World, 2015
  21. 21. Gee + Chung Audio Tour Display
  22. 22. Dependent Narrative
  23. 23. Differences in Perspective Discrete Narrative: It is an augmentation of the exhibit. Dependent Narrative: It redefines the experience.
  24. 24. Discrete Narrative – Game as Add-on Fidelity Loss
  25. 25. Dependent Narrative
  26. 26. Where can you see our stuff?
  27. 27. Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
  28. 28. Jurassic Park test, c. 1992
  29. 29. WaitinginLine3D,2013
  30. 30. Implementation?  FILL IN QUICK MIRACLE FIX HERE
  31. 31. University Partnerships
  32. 32. Five Questions; Five Answers (1)Why games? (2)Why narrative? (3)How do they relate? (4)How does this connect to collections? (5)How can we implement this?
  33. 33. The Stories We Tell James Collins Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access @JamesCollinsJr