A New Hope for Games in the Classroom

Welcome to the newest episode of Plugs, Play, Pedagogy–the first of a two-part episode! Look below for more details about what you’ll hear, or just listen here. As always, you can also subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher, or you can download in a variety of formats at Podigee.

Produced and recorded by Kyle Stedman (@kstedman), assistant professor of English at Rockford University, in cooperation with KairosCast and Writing Commons. If you have ideas for future episodes, please contact me!

Transcript is available here (where you’ll find a lot of links to things mentioned in the episode).

Welcome to the first of two episodes dedicated to intersections of gaming and the pedagogy of teaching writing and rhetoric, both of which I co-edited with Stephanie Vie (@digirhet).


First, to get us going, Stephanie and I discuss the tricky issue of gaming identity: what does it mean to be a gamer? How do those identities affect our teaching and researching?

Part 1: Ideas for Teaching with Games

Next, we hear from four awesome teachers about some very specific ideas:

  • Jason Custer (@CusterTeaching) shares some goodies from an entire class on games and procedural rhetoric.
  • Matt Beale (@coffeebreak808) teaches his students HTML with a game about developing a pro-wrestler identity, complete with D&D-like stats.
  • Phill Alexander (@phillalexander) uses HabitRPG and League of Legends to encourage deeper levels of participation from his students.
  • Kevin Moberly emphasizes play in assignments involving paper-bag puppets (which are more amazing than you think) and World of Warcraft.

Part 2: Not Your Mama’s Gamer

Next, we hear an extended interview between me, Stephanie, and Samantha Blackmon (@saffistaNot Your Mama’s Gamer). Among other things, our conversation covers the benefits and problems of asking students to create digital or analog games, the ways she sneaks games into just about any class she teaches, and ways of dealing with the material realities of access and space when teaching with games. We also laugh a lot.

End Matter

My theme music is by Cactus May at Ohio University.

You also hear some amazing music from the artists at OverClocked ReMix, an ever-growing resource for 100% free game music rearrangements: