Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
There are also educational projects with less
immediate returns, such as the five-year, $50 mil-
lion digital media and learning initiative funded
by The MacArthur Foundation, and launched in
2006 “to help determine how digital technologies
are changing the way young people learn, play,
socialize, and participate in civic life” (2006). One
of the bodies funded was GameStarMechanic.com
(2006) which introduces children to the system
of games, and provides a game authoring tool us-
ing Flash. Another, Games for Change supports
and links to a broad range of games for children
and adolescents that “address the most pressing
issues of our day, including poverty, education,
human rights, global conflict and climate change”
(2009). Designing games helps us consider and
learn about whole systems, and the individual's
relation to the system (Zimmerman, 2004). We will
now consider our relationship to these complex
issues in detail.
live from January 2010, and in a related policy
document states:
The Government believes that if the UK is to take
full advantage of the opportunities for creating
wealth and improving quality of life offered by
scientific discovery and technological develop-
ment, it is crucial that we develop new approaches
to bring scientists and the public together in a
constructive dialogue to explore emerging issues.
(Guiding Principles, 2009, p. 3)
Since time immemorial, the public has ex-
pected a response to 'emerging issues' from those
in authority; “We will never return to the old boom
and bust.” Chancellor Gordon Brown (2007) in
his eleventh and final budget statement, the fol-
lowing year the economy collapsed.
“The earliest philosophers speak in tones of
prophecy and rapture. Their sublime self-assur-
ance is that of the sacrificial priest or mystagogue.”
(Huizinga, 1950, p. 116).
From the earliest times divination, has been,
and indeed continues to be, used in attempts to
explore the unknown. Tools for divination that sur-
vive as artefacts include astrological instruments
for casting horoscopes, throwing lots as in sticks
or spillikins and the I-Ching, throwing stones as
in Go or bones as in dice, drawing straws, or more
recently dealing and reading Tarot cards. Each
a means to make order out of the chaos of exis-
tence that is beyond our understanding; the very
word 'problem' derives from the ancient Greek
προβλημα, literally what is thrown before us.
Stephen J. Gould proposed using the term
Magisterium to describe domains of knowledge
that do not overlap (1997) and suggested Religion
and Science were members. Western civilization
has for many hundreds of years harboured and
even nourished this schism. Around fifty years
ago, C.P. Snow (1957) identified a growing fail-
ure in communication between the Humanities
and Sciences. When we consider complex issues
such as these together with city planning, war,
Communicating Across
Domains of Knowledge
Computer games such as Second Life, SimCity
and Grand Theft Auto IV allow us to inhabit
alternative worlds, where we can explore and
rehearse dangerous feelings and experiences,
with little risk to ourselves or others; and to share
them with friends, relations and others. Games
also offer us an opportunity to bring scientists and
the public together to explore alternative futures
for this world, in more amusing and informative
ways than spreadsheets; however, judgments in
these domains may remain matters of faith rather
than knowledge. Eckhardt & Newcombe (1969)
suggest, “The essence of dogmatism is a basic
confusion between faith and knowledge.”
The Smarter Government White Paper (Put-
ting the Frontline First, 2009) proposes to make
all UK government data including Office of Na-
tional Statistics available through a single access
point at http://www.data.gov.uk, which will go
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