Meaningful Play 2016

International Academic Conference on Meaninful Play 2016
October 20-22, 2016
East Lansing, Michigan


Magic 8 Ball

Magic 8 Ball

Minecraft videos – why are they so addictive?

Minecraft videos – why are they so addictive?
May 14, 2015

Researchers in China, for example, performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies on the brains of 18 college students who spent an average of 10 hours a day online, primarily playing games like World of Warcraft. Compared with a control group who spent less than two hours a day online, gamers had less grey matter (the thinking part of the brain).

And, as far back as the early 1990s, scientists warned that because video games only stimulate brain regions that control vision and movement, other parts of the mind responsible for behaviour, emotion, and learning could become underdeveloped.

In terms of specific studies on Minecraft, an article penned by psychologists Jun Lee and Robert Pasin in Quartz magazine, suggests it may not be as creative as parents might hope: “In Minecraft, kids can build and explore new worlds and manipulate them with unprecedented control and precision.

“The underlying creativity is baked into the program – the combinations, tools and materials – so the players have only one task to complete: design ever more complex structures. Though this seems like the pinnacle of an imaginative play experience, the kids we studied said they felt edgy and irritable after Minecraft sessions.”

The game, said the researchers, becomes “less about open-ended play and more about working to complete the never-ending stacks of buildings.”

A Parent’s Guide to Minecraft: 5 Reasons to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Cubes
Yahoo! Tech. Apr 21, 2014

Calling Minecraft a game doesn’t do it justice; it’s more like a movement.
Available on nearly every device where games can be played, from computers and consoles to smartphones, Minecraft boasts more than 100 million registered players, many of them barely out of kindergarten.
Is this due to its stunning 3D graphics, sophisticated plot, and adrenaline-pumping gameplay? No, it is not.

It’s what’s known as a “sandbox” game, meaning that there is no end to it and no overarching goal.
You’re largely responsible for bending your game world to your will.
In fact, that’s the point of the game.

Microsoft Has Acquired Minecraft For $2.5 Billion
Sep 2014

Board Games Aren’t Dead Yet

Move Over Video Games, Board Games Aren’t Dead Yet
June 25, 2014

Board games are coming out of the closet, with store fronts popping up in a lot of communities. In Brooklyn, N.Y., Gamelab is place where people can get together and play different types of games.

I played cards and board games as a kid – you know, Go Fish, Monopoly, Clue.
But these games – Citadels, Avalon, Settlers of Catan – they’re foreign to me.

Ludo board game

Ludo board game

Ludo is a board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to die rolls. Like other cross and circle games, Ludo is derived from the Indian game Pachisi, but simpler.
The game and its variants are popular in many countries and under various names.

“Curious Jarod”
NBC Studios, Inc.