Elisabeth Whyte isn’t a typical gamer: She has her very own World of Warcraft podcast, a fan following and a blog frequented by 15,000 visitors each month. Though her online persona specializes in dragon slaying, in real life she’s a postdoctoral research assistant and psychology lecturer at Penn State who is leveraging her gaming expertise to design a computer game that could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills.
Librarians, library staff and library advocates are invited to “Finding the Missing Piece: How Games Fit Your Library,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 15, in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, at Penn State. The program is the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) Juniata-Conemaugh Chapter Spring Workshop.
Remember backyard games of Red Rover, Mother May I, and Red Light Green Light? How about playing Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders? Games like these figure into the pleasant childhood memories of many, but can games serve a larger purpose? Are games more than “child’s play”?
Studies during the past decade have shown elementary school boys are struggling -- falling behind academically while also being diagnosed with learning disabilities and getting in trouble at school at far greater rates than girls. One answer to the problem, says a Penn State education professor, may be video games. "Instructional technology is my field, thinking about how to adopt technology properly in classrooms," said Alison Carr-Chellman, department head and professor of instructional systems in Penn State's College of Education. "One of the reasons I'm interested in video games is because it meets boys where they are. It picks them up with an interest they already have."
Erika Poole, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, presented a colloquium about "exergaming," the concept of exercising using video games, to students in IST 590 on Monday, Jan. 24.
Students with an interest in working in the gaming industry are encouraged to attend a presentation on internships and full-time placement with Blizzard Entertainment. The session will be facilitated by Sumer Ortiz, university relations manager with Blizzard Entertainment, and will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 3, in 108 Forum.
"Penn State Abington brings the world into our classrooms," enthuses Dolores Arevalo, coordinator of International Affairs at Penn State Abington. "For the first time on our campus, a professor from Penn State Abington and a German professor from Hof University of Applied Sciences in Hof, Germany will team teach a course without leaving their respective country. The course will be conducted virtually and simultaneously allowing faculty and students to share the classroom experience and diverse cultural perspectives on the course content. This collaboration is a new and exciting development in the internationalization of our curriculum."