Posted by dolce

Gabriela to present on Designing Diversity in Games (and why it matters for Learning), at the Different Games Conference

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 2.31.42 PMGabriela Richard, doctoral student and adjunct instructor at ECT (and lab member), will be presenting at the Different Games Conference at NYU Poly on April 27th.  She’ll be presenting on her continued work on gender and ethnic inclusive game design.  Her presentation, entitled “Why designing diversity in games and play matters: A case study of Latino gamers’ experiences across gender” will highlight the experiences of Latino gamers, across gender, and how their experiences make a case for why designing diversity is important for equitable learning outcomes with games.

Part of her abstract is here:

games“…Encouraging equal participation by females is an incredibly important endeavor as studies continue to show a lack of equal participation in most math, science and technology fields, and studies continue to demonstrate inequity in play.  However, just as research has been attuned to the experiences of females in uneven playing fields, more research is needed about the experiences of ethnic minorities, who also continue to lag in participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and also have experiences of marginalization and inequity in game culture and play.  While there has been some work on African American and Asian players’ experiences, there is little to no research on the play experiences of Latino gamers.  This case study will discuss the experiences of several Latino gamers and non-gamers, as investigated through ethnographic observation and play, and interviews.  Study findings make the case for understanding gender from an intersectional perspective (i.e., recognizing that gendered experiences are colored by their intersections with ethnicity, culture and experience).  In particular, the study will highlight the complexity of male and female experiences in game culture and play, including the ways that their differential marginalization intersects.  For example, there has been increased interest by media critics and academics to study gender harassment in game culture, particularly after several high profile incidents occurred, including the very public misogynistic cyberbullying of media critic Anita Sarkeesian after she announced plans to create a video series on the common stereotypes of females in video games.  However, as this study will show, ethnic minorities also experience profiling and harassment, as well as other marginalizing acts, that affects and limits their participation in similar ways.  The study ultimately draws from the data to offer recommendations on how to design for gender and ethnic equity and participation, in the pursuit of fair play in leisure and learning.”

More information on the Different Games Conference and how to register can be found here:

New MAGNET Center Ribbon Cutting


dolcelab was featured at the new Media and Games Network (MAGNET) ribbon cutting ceremony on October 9th.

image (3)Povost and Chief Academic Officer David W. McLaughlin (right) made a special visit to the lab to view projects on display with Chris Hoadley.  dolcelab displayed slides of several of their recent research endeavors and demos of their projects and designs.

Chris, as part of the MAGNET design and coordination team, was part of the ribbon cutting, along with NYU Deans, NYU President Sexton, NYU Provost McLaughlin and local politicians (pictures featured below).

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Digital Media & Learning Conference: Christopher Hoadley presenting; Dixie attending!


Chris Hoadley will be presenting at the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML) in Chicago. The panel he is presenting on is MAKE, DO, ENGAGE: HACKER LITERACIES AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION.  The panel is specifically exploring maker/hacker culture, and what it can teach us about participatory learning and meaning making. “This panel investigates the convergence of participatory acumen and civic activity by focusing on the concept of ‘hacker literacies’ — how this construct might be defined, how it might be researched ‘in the wild,’ and how learning interventions can being designed to cultivate it…. Chris Hoadley, Associate Professor of Educational Technology at New York University, will discuss the role of indigenous design to allow capacity building for self-determination at the local and national levels based on his work in South Asia.”

The conference can be watched live here:

Dixie Ching a doctoral candidate at ECT and part of dolcelab will also be in attendance.

More information on the conference can be found here:


dolcelab Moves to Brooklyn


We’re all very excited about the new lab space. Here we are at our weekly meeting making plans and discussing our research. Good stuff! In the picture (From left: Chris, Dixie, Sameer, Matt).


ELD13 announces Chris Hoadley's Keynote: The Death of Content: Why Universities and Schools are (and aren’t) being replaced by the Internet

The Death of Content: Why Universities and Schools are (and aren’t) being replaced by the Internet

The Emerging Learning Design (ELD) 2013 Conference is pleased to announce the title and abstract of our Keynote Presentation by Dr. Christopher Hoadley, director of dolcelab (see below).

Registration is currently open and can be found at

The conference presentations are still being confirmed but the current schedule can be found at

Christopher Hoadley, Keynotehoadley-sm2
The Death Of Content: Why Universities and Schools are (and aren’t) being replaced by the Internet

In this talk, I argue that the current coin of the realm in academia–content–is dying and that universities need to radically rethink their role in the world. MOOCs, homeschooling, and the shadow education system all are evidence that the 20th century role of schools is decreasingly relevant. But does this mean that schools will become obsolete? I argue that schools face a choice: use technology to enhance their current functions but hasten their demise, or use technology to transform themselves and capitalize on 17th century strengths to be a cornerstone of the 21st century knowledge economy. I offer some ideas on how to reconceptualize the notion of ‘schools’ based on the latest research in learning and on ancient ideas about how to teach.

Gabriela attends and questions at the EA Full Spectrum gaming event


Gabriela Richard, graduating doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor at ECT, recently attended the EA Full Spectrum gaming event, on March 7th, which was hosted at the Ford Foundation, and sponsored by Electronic Arts (EA), the Entertainment Software Association, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Ford Foundation.  The goal of the event was to “bring together leaders from the LGBT and videogame community to talk about the state of hate in videogames, the origins of homophobia in games, the development of authentic LGBT characters and whether our industry is doing enough to combat hate.” (See

gabriela_EAFullSpectrumSpeakers and moderators included:

  • Gordon Bellamy, Tencent
  • Sean Bugg, Metro Weekly
  • Matt Bromberg, General Manager, BioWare Austin
  • Michael Cole-Schwartz, HRC Media Director
  • Deena Fidas, HRC Workplace Program Director
  • Maya Harris, Ford Foundation
  • Dan Hewitt, ESA
  • Ellen Kahn, HRC Family Project Director
  • Lucas Pattan, Out for Undergraduate Technology Conference (OUTC)
  • Hilary Rosen, CNN and Washington Post Contributor
  • Caryl Shaw, KIXEYE
  • Jaap Tuinman, EA Community Manager
  • Luis A. Ubinas, President, Ford Foundation

photoGabriela, who is studying gender, ethnicity, sexuality and context in game culture, as part of her dissertation, asked several questions of the industry and media panels for the event, stemming from part of her research. Specifically, she discussed her emerging research (with Chris Hoadley) on the role that gender-supportive communities can play in increasing the confidence and efficacy of vulnerable players, as well as players in general across gender (they are actually finding that gender-supportive communities also increase the confidence of all players, regardless of gender, but explicitly their rules around female support appear to make a more welcoming place for all).  She also asked about reporting systems and whether they could be designed in a more transparent way, because her research is finding that many vulnerable players don’t report because they don’t know whether they would be safe (though she also recognized that transparency may not be easy for reasons of keeping them effective).

Detailed coverage of the event can be found here

Chris presented at SXSWEDU

sxswedu_2013Christopher Hoadley, program director of ECT/DMDL and lab director of dolce, recently presented on the Evidence-Based Learning Solutions panel at SXSW EDU.

The panel addressed next generation learning experiences with emerging technologies and big data that is informed by the learning sciences.

More information on the panel and session can be found here:

Kacie Kinzer and collaborators win a Knight Foundation Challenge Grant

KacieKinzerKacie Kinzer, a first year ECT doctoral student and a dolcelab member, along with her collaborators, won a prestigious Knight Foundation Challenge Grant in the amount of $330,000 to develop an innovative mobile application that allows users to archive and share their oral histories with their family and friends.  They and their design company, TKOH, will develop the application.

“This project, called Thread, will ease the process by building a simple application that enables users of all experience levels to create rich audio/visual stories that can be archived and shared easily with groups of people, ranging from immediate family members to the extended user community, depending on the user’s preference. By making it easy to record and share stories amongst generations and communities, Thread, will make it possible to preserve the stories of target groups, including rural ranchers in New Mexico whose lives reflect a disappearing culture of endurance and gifted storytelling, before the app launches more broadly.”


More information on the award, the project and the team can be found here:

Gabriela Presents at the 21st Annual Women & Society Conference

Gabriela Richard, ECT doctoral student and dolcelab member, presented part of her dissertation research findings as part of the 21st Annual Women & Society Conference at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY (October 19-20, 2012).

beyond_tropesHer presentation was titled “Beyond Tropes: Exploring the Potential Impact of Gender Inequity in Video Game Culture.”  She discussed how environmental bias, as formed through disproportionate gender harassment and game marketing, creates places that can be inequitable for females and ethnic minorities.  She further used case studies to illustrate the connections between potential media effects and environmental bias and disproportionate agency for females and ethnic minorities in game culture (and in long-term trajectories to STEM).

The full abstract: 

The recent firestorm around Anita Sarkeesian’s kickstarter campaign to fund a video series on common tropes of female characters in video games helped to popularize and shed light on the often limited and stereotypic representations of females in video games, which are quickly becoming a highly consumed entertainment medium.  While many female gamers, developers and media scholars have attempted to address issues of gender inequality in video games and culture, this particular event has appeared to widen the discourse beyond gaming communities and academia.  However, while understanding limited stereotypes in media is an important first step to addressing gender inequality in general in game culture, it is also important to understand the potential impact of gender inequity.  For example, research shows that there is a high level of misogyny, homophobia and gender-related harassment in online gaming.  This kind of harassment, which was also waged against Sarkeesian’s kickstarter campaign, may have some correlation to the lack of gender equality in video games and culture.  The author will present work from her dissertation on gender and video game culture, particularly highlighting the potential impact of gender inequality on players, which can include lack of agency, motivation and self-efficacy.  She will argue that this is not just important for the design of gender-equitable educational games (which her dissertation focuses on), but also for encouraging healthier social environments around video game play.

Dixie presenting at AERA!


Battleship Numberline: A Digital Game for Improving Estimation Accuracy on Fraction Number Lines
Alternative Technology Interfaces to Support Teaching and Learning

Dixie Ching, Presenter
Kenneth R. Koedinger (Carnegie Mellon University)
James Derek Lomas (Carnegie Mellon University)
Melanie Sandoval (Carnegie Mellon University)
Eliane Stampfer (Carnegie Mellon University)

Want to play Battleship Numberline?