People often talk about how games cause tons of problems — such as violence, obesity, addiction, aggression, or loneliness — but perhaps we should also talk about how games can solve real-world problems, too. In this talk, Dr. Karen Schrier of Marist College will take you on a tour of problem-solving games–from Foldit to the Beanstalk game. These games use crowdsourcing and collective intelligence techniques to encourage players to participate in real-world problem solving, data analysis, and more. Maybe a game will help us cure cancer or find world peace!
Karen Schrier, now in her sixth year at Marist College, teaches courses in games and interactive media and directs the Games & Emerging Media program. She also directs the Play Innovation Lab, where she works with students to create and research games/media. Dr. Schrier’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, and is focused on the intersection of games with education, ethics, empathy, civic engagement, and citizen science. Prior to Marist College, she spent over a decade producing websites, apps, and games at organizations such as Scholastic, Nickelodeon, BrainPOP, and PBS/Channel 13. She is the editor of the book series, Learning, Education & Games, published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon), and co-editor of two books on games and ethics. She has written over 30 publications, including single-authored articles published in journals such as Educational Technology Research & Development and the Journal of Moral Education. Her latest book, Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Help Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change, was published in 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press, and has been covered by Forbes, New Scientist, and Times Higher Education, Radio NZ and SiriusXM. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University/Teachers College, master’s degree from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.