I founded the Serious Games Knowledge Group at Ball State University about two years ago, I think it was October 2013. The premise of the group was to gather faculty from across campus who are interested in games as learning tools, defined quite broadly. From a small core, we grew to about a dozen faculty and staff. The university's concept of a knowledge group, as I understand it, is to bring faculty together to produce scholarship and, potentially, grant proposals. Our group has met roughly once a month over lunch, where we share our stories about games we are studying, games we are developing, conferences we have attended, and articles we are reading. There is great diversity in our group, but this diversity has meant that we have not collaborated with any shared purpose: while the sharing of our individual work is enriching and enlightening, it has not yielded any scholarly artifact that we can point to as our own. In some ways, we have operated more like special interest group than a knowledge group.
This came up in our first lunch, and we agreed to do something about it. This Friday, the Serious Games Knowledge Group is sponsoring a Symposium on Games in Academia, 2:00–5:00PM in BL104.
We put out a call for presentations at the end of September, and I was pleased to receive fifteen high-quality proposals—enough that we had to reserve a bigger space! The presentations represent an even wider variety of interests than the Knowledge Group itself, and presenters include tenure-track faculty, contract faculty, faculty who teach at the Indiana Academy, university staff, and undergraduate students. The event will truly be a celebration of our diversity of interests, a chance to share our stories in a more formal and thoughtful environment. Refreshments are being sponsored by my department, and there is a wide selection of door prizes that have been donated by area companies and individuals.
The event is free and open to the public, so if you're in Muncie this Friday, please feel free to come join us. Eva designed this flier to advertise the event, and you are welcome to post it and share it. I'll make some time to post a follow-up on my blog after the event.