“If I had written this article two years ago, it would have been very different. Back then, I would have made (or felt like I had to make) a compelling case for why we should even consider the idea of incorporating video games into classroom instruction. Back then, I would have expected most readers to incredulously click to the next article.”
“In the autumn of 2006 the game designer Brenda Romero suffered what she describes as a severe assault. In the weeks following the attack she lay numb in bed.
(Warning: This story includes some brief references to sexual assault.)
“I chain-watched Grey’s Anatomy because I couldn’t think,” she said during a talk titled ‘The Prototyping of Tragedy’ delivered at the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference, the only time that she has spoken publicly, albeit in brief, about the attack.
Her mind, she recalled, was immobile in the shadow of one unanswerable question: “Why the fuck would someone like that do something like this to someone like me?”
After a while of lying with the pain and confusion, she began to tackle the question in the only way that she knew how: through game design. “I didn’t want to live with this thing in me, so I started to explore pain and evil as a system,” she said. “I started designing a video game level in my head. I thought maybe this would help me to understand.” ”
“A couple of years ago, a friend sent me an exasperated email on the heels of an exclusive technology event he’d attended in Northern California — not in Silicon Valley, but close enough, one with powerful people in the tech industry. Investors. Engineers. Entrepreneurs. Several prominent CEOs of prominent ed-tech startups had been invited to speak there about the state of education — past, present, and future — and their talks, my friend reported, tended to condemn education’s utter failure to adopt or to integrate computing technologies. The personal computing revolution had passed schools by entirely, they argued, and it wasn’t until the last decade that schools had started to even consider the existence of the Internet. The first online class, insisted one co-founder of a company that’s raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital since then, was in 2001 at MIT.”