Minecraft Modification Workshop (2014-2016)

Minecraft Modification Workshop was a workshop series that I facilitated at a local library with youths, and it grew out of my dissertation research on critical play. My dissertation study investigates critical video game play. This critical play occurs when gamers recognize how games themselves are complicated systems implicated in society at large and then modify games based based on their cultural, economical, and political concerns. My research asks how teachers can facilitate this critical video game play among youths in an afterschool program by designing and modifying games collectively. This research is timely and significant to educators, scholars, and the general public in that it develops ways for teachers, students and players to utilize popular video games for learning in various domains from a critical and design-oriented perspective. According to Entertainment Software Association’s 2015 survey, 42% of Americans play video games on a regular basis, and it is estimated that the global video game industry is worth $1.93 trillion dollars. There is an urgent need for education researchers to investigate the pedagogical implications and applications of increasingly popular video games that not only addresses the benefits of this interactive medium, but also provide a repertoire to dismantle the the sexist, racist, classist, cis-gendered, heternormative and ableist assumptions built into popular titles.