ORGANIZERS

Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai, an associate professor at UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, just organized in 2004 the Sixth International Conference of the Learning Sciences, a meeting for over 300 international researchers. She has conducted extensive research and policy work on gender issues in IT and produced the report Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Interventions in the Sciences for the Educational Foundation of the American Association of University Women (2004) and participated in the report Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the Computer Age (AAUW, 2000) and many research papers on educational games and learning. She is author of the book Minds in Play: Computer game Design as a Context for Children’s Learning and Constructionism in Practice (1995) co-edited with Mitchel Resnick. She currently has two NSF-funded studies pertaining to the workshop: (1) a study of a multi-player online science site for children and (2) a development of a media-rich design environment for underprivileged youth.

Carrie Heeter

Carrie Heeter is a professor of Digital Media Design in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University where she also directs the Communication Technology Laboratory and is Creative Director for Virtual University Design and Technology.  Heeter has been creating and studying interactive media experiences since 1989.  In 1995 she won Discover Magazine’s software innovation of the year award for the Personal Communicator software.  The associated web site continues to attract more than 9,000,000 visitors per year.  Her recent design projects focus on games for learning.  She currently has two NSF-funded studies pertaining to the workshop: (1) design of a science learning game with several variations for use in experimental research on the relationship between gender, play style, and learning outcomes and (2) extending conceptualization and understanding of play patterns, gender, and learning in educational games through interviews with 25 game designers about their observations throughout years of playtesting learning game products. Heeter was PI of the NSF-funded Girls As Designers study comparing process and products of girl and  boy-designed games.

Jill Denner

Jill Denner is a Senior Research Associate at Education, Training, Research Associates, a non-profit agency in California. She currently has NSF funding to develop, implement, and study an after school and summer program that puts middle school girls in the role of game designers and programmers. Her initial publications from that project will appear in the Encyclopedia of Gender and IT and the journal Frontiers. She has been invited to present her work at national conferences and workshops on positive youth development, with a focus on gender. She is also editing a book of research on the positive development of Latina girls in the US, to be published by NYU Press in 2006.

Jen Sun

Jen Sun is President and one of the founders of Numedeon, Inc, the company that launched Whyville.net.  Whyville is an educational virtual world targeted at children ages 8 to 14 with 1.3 million registrants and 25,000 unique visitors daily, two-thirds of which are girls.  NSF has funded two research studies on Whyville.  She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Caltech and has published in Natureand Nature Neuroscience on visual perception.  Prior to Numedeon, she was a founder of Learning.net and the director of educational development at Electric SchoolHouse.

 

INVITED PARTICIPANTS

Nichol Bradford

Nichol Bradford is no stranger to Action-Adventure! She works in the fast growing, exciting video and computer game industry. As the Global Director of Strategic Growth at Vivendi Universal Games (VUG), Bradford reports to CEO Bruce Hack and works on special projects, portfolio planning, and manages the strategic/marketing relationships with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Before moving into this special role, Bradford spent two years in Marketing at VUG. As a Sr. Global Brand Manager she marketed video games tied to major film properties like Van Helsing, Fight Club and Scarface. She worked extensively with Universal Studios Motion Picture Group, Twentieth Century Fox and other Studios/content holders to bring properties to the 3-D interactive world. Prior to VUG, Bradford spent two years at Disney Interactive/Buena Vista Games, a division of The Walt Disney Company, as a Marketing/Licensing Manager on video games for Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Lilo & Stitch and Spy Kids among others. During this time, she worked closely with Miramax Films, Pixar, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Nichol Bradford is committed to the growth and development of the video game industry as evidenced by her three-year Chairmanship of an annual art exhibit titled, Into The Pixel: A Celebration of Video Game Art. Into the Pixel is a joint project between E3, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) where Bradford sits on the Board of the Prints and Drawing Council (PDC). She is passionate about encouraging diversity in the video game industry. To that end, Bradford is a Board Member of the Urban Video Game Academy (UVGA), whose mission is better prepare students in disadvantaged areas for postsecondary education and technology careers by teaching them the fundamentals of video game design and development. In addition, she organizes an annual dinner at E3 for diverse executives. In 2001, Nichol received her MBA in Strategic Management from the Wharton School of Business. Before graduate school, Bradford worked in New York in cosmetics and fashion licensing at Estee Lauder and The Anne Klein Company. She earned her BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. Bradford recently completed her first novel, currently titled My Sister’s Keeper. During her spare time, Bradford studies the Tango.
http://www.vugames.com
http://www.intothepixel.com
http://www.uvga.org

 

Cornelia Brunner

Dr. Brunner has been involved in the research, production, and teaching of educational technology in a variety of subject areas for thirty years. In addition to conducting research projects about the relationship between learning, teaching, and technology, she has designed and implemented educational materials incorporating technologies to support inquiry-based learning and teaching in science, social studies, media literacy, and the arts. She has worked extensively with staff and students in a variety of school environments on curriculum development projects, teacher support and training, and informal education. She has taught experimental courses at Bank Street College and the Media Workshop New York, in which teachers are introduced to new technologies, learn how to integrate technology into their curriculum, and learn to use multimedia authoring tools to design their own educational programs. Dr. Brunner has also been an industry consultant for the design of educational and entertainment products for children of all ages during the last thirty years.

 

Justine Cassell

She holds a master's degree in Literature from the Université de Besançon (France), a master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), and a double Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, in Psychology and in Linguistics. Cassell's research interests originated in the study of human-human conversation and storytelling. Progressively she became interested in allowing computational systems to participate in these activities. This new technological focus led her to deconstruct the linguistic elements of conversation and storytelling in such a way as to embody machines with conversational, social and narrative intelligence so that they could interact with humans in human-like ways. Increasingly, however, her research has come to address the impact and benefits of technologies such as these on learning and communication. In particular, Cassell is credited with developing the Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA), a virtual human capable of interacting with humans using both language and nonverbal behavior. More recently Cassell has investigated the role that the ECA can play in children's lives, as a Story Listening System (SLS): peer support for learning language and literacy skills. And Cassell has also employed linguistic and psychological analyses to look at the effects of online conversation among a particuarly diverse group of young people on their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and sense of community. Once machines have human-like capabilities, can they be used to evoke the best communicative skills that humans are capable of, the richest learning? This is the goal of Cassell's research: to develop technologies that evoke from humans the most human and humane of our capabilities, and to study their effects on our evolving world.

 

Mia Consalvo

Mia Consalvo is an Associate Professor in the School of Telecommunications at Ohio University. She is the executive editor of the Association of Internet Researchers’ Research Annual series, and she has also edited the volume Women and Everyday Uses of the Internet: Agency and Identity with Susanna Paasonen. Her research focuses on women and games, the videogame industry, and pedagogical uses of games. She has published related work in The Video Game Theory Reader, as well as the journals On the Horizon, Television & New Media, and The Journal of Communication Inquiry. Consalvo has given more than 40 conference and invited presentations, and is on the steering committee of Women in Games International. She is currently writing a book on the role of cheating in the digital game industry.
http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~consalvo
http://memorycard.blogs.com

 

Eben Cook

Cook is an environment artist at Electronic Arts, Los Angeles. He received a B.A. in graphic design with a minor in computer programing from the University of North Texas in 2002. Beginning in 2001, he worked at  Mumbo Jumbo in Dallas, TX, where he did concept art and developed an IP, Snowball Run. Since joining Electronic Arts in 2002, he has worked on several titles in the Medal of Honor franchise including MoH: Spearhead, MoH: Breakthrough, and MoH: Pacific Assault, on which he served as Environment Art Lead. He is currently working on Medal of Honor's upcoming next-generation title. At home, Eben enjoys playing Katamari Damachi, Super Monkey Ball, and Zelda and he eagerly awaits the release of Nintendo Wii.

Mary Flanagan

Mary Flanagan holds an MFA and MA from the University of Iowa and studied film studies and experimental filmmaking, and holds a PhD in Computational Media. In the 1990s, Flanagan was a producer/designer at Human Code, an Austin based software developer, garnering over 20 international awards for titles produced for The Discovery Channel, Creative Wonders/ABC, and Knowledge Adventure. Currently Flanagan's projects are primarily networked and computer-based works which investigate everyday life and the influence of technology, including net.culture, computer gaming, and mundane technological tools. The works are created for the net or installation.

 

Tracy Fullerton

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is a game designer, educator and writer with fifteen years of professional experience. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinema-Television where she serves as Co-Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Tracy is the author of Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping and Playtesting Games, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Prior to joining the USC faculty, she was President and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance’s games included NBC’s Weakest Link, MTV’s webRIOT, The WB’s No Boundaries, History Channel’s History IQ, Sony Game Show Network’s Inquizition and TBS’s Cyber Bond. Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive. As a producer and creative director she created games and interactive products for clients including Sony, Intel, Microsoft, AdAge, Ticketmaster, Compaq, and Warner Bros. among many others. Notable projects include Sony’s Multiplayer Jeopardy! and Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune and MSN’s NetWits, the first multiplayer online game show. Additionally, Tracy was Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm, where she wrote and co-directed the “cinematic game” Ride for Your Life, starring Adam West and Matthew Lillard. She began her career as a designer at Bob Abel’s company Synapse, where she worked on the interactive documentary Columbus: Encounter, Discovery and Beyond and other early interactive projects. Tracy’s work has received numerous industry honors including best Family/Board Game from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, ID Magazine’s Interactive Design Review, Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual, several New Media Invision awards, iMix Best of Show, the Digital Coast Innovation Award, IBC’s Nombre D’Or, and Time Magazine’s Best of the Web. In December 2001, she was featured in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100” issue.

 

Betty Hayes

Elisabeth (Betty) Hayes is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with joint appointments in the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. She is part of the UW Games, Learning, and Society Research group (http://www.academiccolab.org/initiatives/gapps.html). She brings to gaming research a background in adult education, specifically adult literacy education, gender studies, adult learning and diversity issues. She has been on the faculties at Syracuse University and Rutgers University, and was an adult literacy teacher and teacher trainer. Dr. Hayes’s current research interests include understanding how gender influences the construction of virtual identities and game play, exploring sports games as examples of simulated communities of practice, and using virtual worlds to foster digital and design literacies, particularly for girls and women. She is the author or editor of numerous articles, chapters, and books, including Women as Learners (2000) and “Women, Video Gaming, & Learning: Beyond Stereotypes” (TechTrends, December 2005). She often can be found in the dungeons of World of Warcraft or the dance halls of Second Life.

 

Kristin Hughes

Kristin Hughes is Assistant Professor in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design. Her research focus is the creation of design-based programming and products for at-risk youth to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. She uses a research-intensive approach that emphasizes front-end evaluation to build upon the participants' authentic experiences and questions. For the past three years she has been collaborating with an inter-disciplinary team on a National Science Foundation funded exploration of gender-sensitive science-based communications, Explanatoids. The Explanatoids project has developed, produced and evaluated signs, videos and other media, seeking opportunities to support informal science learning in the everyday environment where Pittsburgh's families gather (http://www.explanatoids.org). Her current project, Click! Urban Adventure (www.click2005.org), is designed to immerse middle school girls in an interactive, mixed-reality game that provides them with the tools they need to learn discipline-specific science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills. The goal of Click! is to establish an educational pathway for middle school girls that excite their interest in science and technology. Ms. Hughes has a master's degree in visual communication from Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Mimi Ito

Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist of technology use, focusing on children and youth’s changing relationships to media and communications. She is part of a new research project supported by the MacArthur Foundation, “Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media,” a three year ethnographic study of kid-initiated and peer-based forms of engagement with new media. She is also conducting ongoing research on Japanese technoculture, looking at how children in Japan and the US engage with post-Pokemon media mixes. Her research on mobile phone use in Japan appears in a book she has co-edited, Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life. She is a Research Scientist at the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California, and a Visiting Associate Professor at Keio University in Japan. http://www.itofisher.com/mito

 

Daniel James

Daniel co-founded Three Rings and serves as Chairman of the Board and CEO. In addition to his duties as CEO he was Three Rings original game designer, responsible for the concept and direction of Puzzle Pirates. Prior to Three Rings Daniel consulted for Electronic Arts, Skotos, Codemasters and Launch Media. He moved to the US from London in 1998 to work for Sierra Online as a designer on Middle-earth Online, after plotting for two years to acquire the Tolkien online game rights for an MMOG startup. Daniel co-founded his first online game company, Avalon, in 1990, bringing the game to the internet in 1994. In 1995 he co-founded a web consultancy, Sense, which continues to operate profitably. Daniels experience creating and playing online games dates back to teenage wiz-dom on Essex MUD in 1982. Daniel has a first-class degree in Computer Science and Philosophy from the University of Leeds. He has been a speaker or moderator at conferences including E3, GDC, Austin Games Conference, Casual Games Conference and others, and is a member of the IGDA Online Games steering committee.

 

Henry Jenkins III

Henry Jenkins III, the John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities and Director of MIT Comparative Media Studies, has spent his career studying media and the way people incorporate it into their lives. He is the principle investigator for the MIT-Microsoft Games-to-Teach project, which is examining the educational potential of computer and video games. He writes a regular column, The Digital Renaissance, for Technology Review magazine and is currently writing a book designed to explain "why media change matters. He testified in 1999 before the U.S. Senate during the hearings on media violence that followed the Littleton, Colorado shootings, testified before the Federal Communications Commission about media literacy, and spoke to the governor's board of the World Economic Forum about intellectual property law. His books include Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (co-edited with Tara McPherson and Jane Shattuc, 2003), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (co-editor with Justine Cassell, 1998), The Children's Cultural Reader (editor, 1998), Science Fiction Audiences: Doctor Who, Star Trek and Their Followers (with John Tullock, 1995), Classical Hollywood Comedy (co-editor with Kristine Brunovska Karnick, 1994), Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (1992), What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic (1992), and the forthcoming The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture. Jenkins earned his doctorate in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a master's degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa.

 

 

Caitlin Kelleher

Caitlin Kelleher is currently finishing a PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where she is a member of the Alice research group. Alice (www.alice.org) is a programming environment for novice programmers that allows users to construct programs that control 3D virtual worlds using drag and drop. Alice is currently in use in introductory programming classes at more than 60 universities and 40 high schools across the country. Caitlin’s research focuses on creating a programming environment based on Alice that will give middle school girls a positive introduction to computer programming through the activity of creating short animated movies. Over the past 4 years, she has observed hundreds of middle school girls learning how to program by creating stories in versions of Alice. When not working, Caitlin enjoys spending time playing her harp and throwing frisbees for her dog. For more info: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~caitlin

 

Brenda Laurel

Brenda Laurel is a designer, writer, researcher, and performer. She chairs the graduate Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. She also serves as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, working as a Senior Director in Sun Labs. Since 1976, her work has focused on experience design, interactive story, and the intersection of culture and technology. Dr. Laurel co-founded Purple Moon to create interactive media for girls in 1996 (acquired by Mattel in 1999). The company was based on four years of research in gender and technology at Interval Research Corp. In 1990 she co-founded Telepresence Research, developing technology and applications for virtual reality and remote presence. Other employers include Atari, Activision, and Apple. She edited The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (Addison-Wesley, 1990) and authored Computers as Theatre (Addison-Wesley, 1991 and 1993) and Utopian Entrepreneur (MIT Press, 2001). Her latest book is Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (MIT Press, 2004). In addition to public speaking and consulting, Dr. Laurel is a member of the Boards of Advisors of several companies and organizations, including Cheskin, the Communication Research Institute of Australia, and the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT. She is active in the digital storytelling movement, the game design community (IGDA) and the ACM.

 

 

Nicole Lazzaro

Nicole Lazzaro is the Founder and President of XEODesign, Inc. She has over fifteen years of expertise in Player Experience Research and Design for mass-market entertainment and consumer creativity products. Clients including Sony, LeapFrog, Mattel, Sega, The Learning Company, Xfire, Broderbund, Roxio, Ubisoft, and Maxis. She has a degree in Psychology from Stanford University. For more information: http://xeodesign.com/about.html

 

Holin Lin

Holin Lin is a professor in the Department of Sociology at National Taiwan University. She has been working in the field of internet studies and the social interaction in computer game communities for several years. Her research focuses on topics such as the formation and corporation of in-game communities, game tips writing behaviors, cash trades of in-game assets, norms and deviance negotiation in MMORPGs, and gendered gaming experience in different spaces.

 

Caroline Pelletier

Caroline Pelletier is a researcher in the fields of new media, learning and educational policy at the London Knowledge Lab, University of London. She is currently managing the project 'Making Games: developing games authoring software for educational and creative use'. This is a three-year research and development project funded by the UK government, set up in collaboration with Immersive Education, and which aims to enable young people create their own computer games. The research is investigating the educational benefits a game-authoring tool might offer to young people, particularly girls and students with print literacy difficulties. Caroline also co- teaches the Gaming, Gaming Cultures and Education module on the London Institute of Education’s MA in Media, Culture and Communication. Her research focuses on epistemology, subjectivity, pedagogy and policy in relation to new media technologies for learning and teaching, both in schools and higher education institutions. Previously, she was an independent researcher and consultant advising publishing and technology companies on e-learning, and an editor in academic publishing.

Centre for the study of children, youth and media
http://www.childrenyouthandmediacentre.co.uk/staff.asp?TableName=Overview&RowID=9&PeopleID=13
Institute of Education, London
http://ioewebserver.ioe.ac.uk/ioe/cms/get.asp?cid=8440

 

Joost Raessens

Raessens is Associate Professor of New Media Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and visiting professor in the Communication Studies Department (UCLA) during the spring quarter 2006. He studied philosophy, film, and French, at the Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and the Sorbonne (Paris, France). In 2001, he obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy for his thesis on the cinema books of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (Philosophy & film. Viv®e la différence: Deleuze and cinematographic modernity (Damon, 2001). In 2003, he was conference chair of the inaugural Dgital Games Research Conference 'Level Up,' organized by Utrecht University in close collaboration with DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association). He co-edited the conference proceedings: Level Up. Digital  Games Research Conference 2003. He also co-edited the Handbook of Computer Game Studies (The MIT Press, 2005). He is member of the editorial board of  Games and Culture. A Journal of Interactive Media (Sage Publications).

Morgan Romine

Morgan Romine, better known as “Rhoulette” in the video game online community, helped found and build Ubisoft’s all-girl gaming team, the Frag Dolls. As captain of the team, she serves as spokesperson, gamer, road manager, and has participated in several panels discussing gender and games. Romine fell in love with video games when she was six years old and she’s been playing ever since, with online games being her current passion. As an undergraduate at University of California, Berkeley, she coordinated and led a class about the “anthropology of online gaming communities”. She used her personal experience with MMORPGs like EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, Lineage, and Dark Age of Camelot to engage the class in discussions about this unique and growing social world. Her introduction to Ubisoft was through their MMORPG title, Shadowbane, where she led a clan of more than 200 players. She entered the game industry after graduating with her degree in anthropology, and now as a Community Manager for Ubisoft she interacts directly with their core video game audience. In her personal gaming life she is currently playing games like World of Warcraft and Halo 2. Romine is excited about the continued growth of the video game industry and how women will play an integral role as gamers and within the business itself.

 

 

Elizabeth Sweedyk

Elizabeth Sweedyk is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College. http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~z

 

T.L. Taylor

T.L. is associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and the Center for Computer Games Research. She has been working in the field of internet and multi-user studies for over a decade and has published on topics such as values in design, avatars and online embodiment, powergaming, gender and gaming, pervasive gaming, and intellectual property in MMOGs. Her current book Play between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press, 2006) uses her multi-year ethnography of EverQuest to explore issues related to play and game culture. For more information: http://www.itu.dk/~tltaylor

 

Nick Yee

Nick Yee was born and grew up in Hong Kong before starting high school in the US. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Haverford College. His undergraduate advisor Doug Davis, a Freudian personality psychologist who was fascinated by identity play online, provided the inspiration for much of Nick’s initial interest in online gaming psychology. Nick Yee is currently a PhD student in the Department of Communication at Stanford University doing research in immersive virtual reality and online games. Over the past 5 years, he has surveyed over 35,000 MMORPG players on a wide variety of issues, such as age and gender differences, motivations of play, relationship formation, and problematic usage. Many of these survey findings are available online at The Daedalus Project:http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus At Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, he works with Jeremy Bailenson in designing and analyzing experimental studies exploring social interaction in virtual environments. Many of these studies explore a research area known as Transformed Social Interactions (TSI) - understanding how behaviors and self-representations can be altered in virtual environments to enhance social interactions. More information on these studies can be found at the lab’s website: http://vhil.stanford.edu

ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS

 

Shannon Campe

Campe is a Research Associate for Education, Training, Research (ETR) Associates.

 

Jillian Caywood

Caywood is currently a masters student at Michigan State University.

 

Chuen-Tsai Sun

Sun is a Professor in Department of Computer Science, National Chiao Tung University, and currently serving as the Director of the University Library. 

 

Jacki Mori

USC faculty

 

Janine Fron

USC faculty

 

 

INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT COMPETITION

 

Pippin Barr

Barr is a doctoral student at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.  His thesis research focuses on Values in Play: How Computer Games Wink, Whisper, Shout and Shape our Gameplay Values. Computer games are likely the most influential form of software today. Of particular interest of late have been the ways games embody values in play. Little research exists examining how computer games might be promoting and facilitating particular values. The user-interface is implicated because it serves both to represent the values of gameplay, and to mediate players’ expressions of value. This research examines the implicit and explicit ways in which computer game interfaces promote and mediate value expression by players. The resulting descriptive model will help understanding of interface-related issues from academic, game design, and cultural criticism perspectives.

 

Jody Clarke

Clarke is a doctoral student at Harvard University where her thesis research focuses on Making Learning Meaningful: Using Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) in Middle School Science.  Research on gender and gaming has grown over the past decade. However, few studies have illustrated how we can build on this research to design and study immersive simulation environments similar to games and developed to help students learn national standards content. Using design-based research, my colleagues and I are studying a multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) to help students learn science inquiry skills and content. My research focuses on generalizable implications for middle school science teaching of how students learn using this MUVE. In addition to affective and learning outcomes, my study presents implications for future research around meeting various student learning preferences in areas such as collaboration and guidance/scaffolding.

 

Rebecca Hains

Hains is a doctoral student at Temple University and her thesis research focuses on Negotiating girl power: Girlhood on screen and in everyday life.  Depictions of strong, feminine girl heroes have become common in children’s media, from television to video games. In response to concerns about adolescent girls’ developmental crises, on-screen “girl power” icons can offer pre-teens positive role models. This dissertation explores how girls use depictions of girlhood to construct their own identities. It is the product a year of fieldwork with over forty diverse pre-teen informants, interviewed at after care programs, their public library, their schools, and at home. Supplementary interviews with parents, teachers, and caretakers provide context useful in understanding what it means to grow up female in U.S. society today.

 

Elisabet Nilsson

Nilsson is a doctoral student at Malmö University in Sweden.  Her thesis research focuses on Games and Learning: experimenting with mobile games in Swedish schools – bringing girls into a new field of gaming.  Games and Learning: experimenting with mobile games in Swedish schools – bringing girls into a new field of gaming’ deals with mobile game technology and learning with a strong emphasis in how girls perceive, use and are influenced by this game technology. During the spring, 2006 a mobile game developed by Education Arcade, Teacher Education Program at MIT will be modified, implemented and tested in a school class in Malmö, Sweden. The study is exploring how mobile games can support engaging and motivating learning experiences outside the classroom.

 

Coe Leta Stafford

Stafford is a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley.  Her thesis research focuses on Designer Multi-player Technologies to Promote Group Learning, Social Interaction and Engagement in Informal Settings.  In this design research study, four theory-informed variations of a multiplayer inquiry game were tested to explore how design features affect group activity. Measures of group activity include learning processes (e.g. explanatory and reasoning talk), social interaction (e.g. shared ownership and being cool talk such as swearing or name-calling), and engagement (e.g. affective talk and task completion). Data was gathered from 120 child-only groups, aged eight to fourteen, in an informal setting where participation was voluntary. Results show significant differences in how groups interact according to different features of the design. Practical and theoretical implications for designers of multi-player technologies are discussed.

 

Evan Straub

Straub is a doctoral student at The Ohio State University.  Her thesis research focuses on Adults Coping with Technology: Individual Differences and Emotion.  As technology becomes more pervasive in everyday, adults are forced to cope with technology more frequently. Beyond anecdotal perceptions that technology is frustrating and aggravating in the media, little is currently known about the emotional reactions that arise from technology interactions, why they occur, and the individual differences that might influence emotional reactions to technology. Through a series of three studies, this proposal seeks to explore the influence of individual differences (age, gender, attitude toward technology, coping styles, trust, goal orientation) and appraisals on emotion, persistence with technology, and satisfaction with technology.

 

Hanna Wirman

Wirman is a doctoral student at the University of Lapland in Finland; she is currently a visiting researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen in the beginning of this year.  Her thesis research focuses on MomGamers and Snake-playing teenagers - feminine player in the culture of digital gaming.  Herwork is located in between Women's Studies and Media Studies, but as it will consist of several articles, also HCI perspective can be taken into account. The research questions are: How and what kind of player identities are constructed in the culture of digital gaming? According to the constructed identities, are there different player groups among feminine players? What kind of playing strategies are characteristic to feminine players? and What are the kinds of interaction models feminine players prefer?