“Unconference.” If you haven’t heard the word yet, I’m almost certain that eventually you will. That is, if you are an active participant in keeping up with an industry that is constantly changing or evolving. Last month, members of the PETAL et al. team attended an “unconference” at Case Western Reserve University. It was called THATCamp Games II.
THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” It is a very interesting concept. In this case, members of the games and education community develop the conference in real-time from the onset of the announcement and while it is live. The programs are developed, announced and driven by participants.
We went there to explore ways that games could be used effectively in education. There were workshops in game design for the classroom, HTML5, a 2-hour game jam and other topics. It was a meeting of the minds of educators, game designers, scholars and enthusiasts to innovate.
Members of our team completed a proof of concept for a video game testing one’s knowledge of current facts or lies in the media. The questions were a combination of true news put out by the press and facts that could be easily misconstrued. There was also some analog game development taking place at the event too. That included board games, card games, word games, etc.
THATCamps are held annually and internationally. You can even host your own. If you are interested in humanities and technology, and exploring the possibilities with a group of passionate people, this is the event for you. You can choose a related topic and develop it from there. It does not have to be games. That was the topic Case Western chose to focus on this year. If you are not up for hosting yet, check out some of the many other THATCamps that take place across the globe.