Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
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Thursday, October 3 • 12:20pm - 1:20pm
Open Dis[Courses] - Gaming the System: The Political Potential of Play

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Play. Thinking of the word, one might envision images of children running around in a playground, puppies wrestling, or teenagers concentrating on hitting their targets in a first-person shooter—activities that seem frivolous and removed from the serious business of life. But what if instead we looked beyond these images to what play really involves: improvisation, creative problem-solving, strategy, empathy, subverting social norms, and systems-thinking. In fact, play is the natural way people learn. These are just a few of the ways play helps us re-imagine the world. Perhaps play is more serious than we think. In this class students look at play and how games—or, in other words, machines that generate play—model the world and let people try out new strategies. The course includes playing games, deconstructing them, modifying them, and making them to reflect the world, social issues, and experiences that are fun and profound, serious and playful. By the end of the semester, students will have a deeper understanding of how games work, and through playing and making them, how the world works too.

avatar for Colleen Macklin

Colleen Macklin

Associate Professor Of Media Design, Parsons School of Design, MA International Affairs '13
Colleen Macklin is a game designer, a professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons School of Design, and founder and co-director of PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab), a lab that develops games for experimental learning and social engagement. PETLab... Read More →

Thursday October 3, 2019 12:20pm - 1:20pm EDT
Amphitheater - A407