Several months ago Paolo Pedercini gave at a talk at Indiecade 2012 titled "Towards Independence" - where he discussed what it meant to be an indie game designer today. Rather than a category that is defined by a series of questions with an either / or value that makes one an "indie" developer, he said that being an indie designer is something that exists on a gradient. He said that no matter what, we are always constrained: by technology, capital, protocols, hardware, class, race, sexuality & privilege. What this means is, being indie is an ideal, rather than a stable formation. It is a utopia, a horizon ever receding as we run towards it.
Indie seems, at least in its best formations, to be something diametrically opposed to capital, to the dominant cadre that controls how videogames are made. Recently, Daniel Joseph released a video concerning the oppositional nature of indie and amateur games - showing how in many cases their existence, the practice of making videogames outside massive publishing corporations allows people to articulate politics in new ways.
Manifestos have been written. Feminism is exploding through gamer culture (especially here in Toronto) in a way that 5 years ago would have appeared to be impossible. Class is on the agenda again. What happens next?
What do you get when 30 students from three different schools share a single Minecraft world?
Lots of explosions, plenty of failing, some pvping and a whole bunch of authentic learning.
Join three TDSB teachers, as they talk about the successes and challenges behind their Multi-School Minecraft Server Project, a single virtual world open to selected low-performing students from three schools across the Toronto District School Board.
Learn why Minecraft (and other video games) are ideal at teaching when schools seem to fail at it, get the basics on running your own Minecraft server and see how educators, parents or kids themselves can use Minecraft in student-led, inquiry-based projects that foster authentic learning and critical thinking skills.
Liam O'Donnell (@liamodonnell) , Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) and Denise Colby (@Niecsa) are three gamers who happen to be teachers. Together, they are the GamingEdus and can be found at: http://gamingeducators.pbworks.com. For the past five years, they each have used video games to support student success in literacy, numeracy, social skills development and where ever else the students take the learning.
In 2012, they teamed up with the EDGE Lab at Ryerson University, (http://edgelab.ryerson.ca/) to create North America's first Multi-School Minecraft server, where 30 students from 3 schools play Minecraft, then write and create media around their experiences. You can see their work at: http://minecraftclubhub.pbworks.com.