June 29th, 2016
Professor Christine Borgman, UCLA’s Presidential Chair in Information Studies, and a member of the Quello Center Advisory Board, will be giving a Quello Lecture on the 5th of October 2016 at MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Her latest book is entitled Big Data, Little Data, No Data, which I interviewed her about for Voices from Oxford (VOX). My VOX interview with Christine was done when we were both at Balliol College and is at: http://www.voicesfromoxford.org/video/data-in-the-digital-domain/228 The interview is brief, just over 15 minutes, but I hope it will give you a sense of the wide range of topics that Christine is likely to develop here at MSU.
Christine did her undergraduate degree here at MSU, and remains a loyal alum, and went on to a number of higher degrees, including a doctorate from Stanford in communication. You might notice the music introducing and concluding the video seems to accentuate our American accents, thanks to Sung Hee Kim, Director of VOX.
“Racism, Sexism, and Video Games: Social Justice Campaigns and the Struggle for Gamer Identity”. This was the title of the first Quello Lecture for the new academic year. Professor Lisa Nakamura introduced several extreme examples of sexism and racism, but the real issue of the lecture and of the audience’s comments was not merely the prominence of some very ugly and disgusting phenomena in the gaming world. Rather, it was the interface between the gaming universe and the real world; it was about culture and culture wars, about social justice warriors, about women and men, about feminism and anti-feminism, and about how relationships travel across these different worlds. And yes, it was about avatars as well.
To what extent do our fake images allow some of us (I mean the gamers) to be nasty – and even criminal – in the gaming world? Professor Robby Rattan, after a wonderful rap show about quantitative and qualitative research, raised the idea that if gamers could have a fake image which is far from a human one (not just human bodies without arms, for example), something totally fictional, if I may add, maybe some disgusting human characteristics (such as sexism and racism) would be vanished. You must admit that it is a very attractive idea.
Oh, I almost forgot, there was wonderful light refreshment before the lecture, and there was a drinks reception after the lecture (which I did not attend because I had to hurry for my evening walk with my wife. Sorry). The whole event took place at the very busy Kellogg Conference Center (we could hear the voices and buzz of other events through the walls), contributing to a very promising beginning for the Quello Lectures to follow.
To view more pictures from Dr. Nakamura’s lecture, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quellocenter/sets/72157648470967778/
Avshalom Ginosar, PhD
Communication Department, The Academic College of Yezreel Valley
Visiting Scholar, The Quello Center, The Department of Media & Information, The College of Communication Art & Science, Michigan State University
If you’re looking for answers to the challenges of racism, sexism, and video games: social justice campaigns and the struggle for gamer identity, you’ll find those answers embodied in the presenters and attendees of Meaningful Play 2014. Lisa Nakamura begins the dialog with her preconference Quello Lecture and discussion Wednesday evening, October 15.
If you’re thinking Nakamura’s lecture is the only time such issues will be addressed at the conference, think again. Opening keynote Mia Consalvo will discuss challenges such as marginalization of our work in game studies and an increasingly loud pushback against greater diversity. She’ll talk about moving forward and making play increasingly meaningful to all of us.
Megan Gaiser, one of the first female CEO’s in the game industry, will share her vision for contagious creativity and leadership.
Drew Davidson, head of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon will celebrate the creative chaos that emerges with a wide diversity of content experts.
Attendees will be treated to panels, papers, and roundtable discussions about affection games, empathy games, other people simulators, representing culture, community and identity, gender, inclusive game design, & gaming culture. Don’t miss sessions on diversity, games for the blind, crowdsourcing games, online game fraud, and race/ethnicity/diaspora. And of course, games for learning, games for K-12, University games, and games for older adults. And much more.
Talks about meaningful play range from board games to VR to meditation. You’ll play or hear about games for health, astronaut exergames, mental health games, mosquitoes, microbes, mathland, and surviving the zombie apocalypse; music games, calculus games, hero games, museum games, safe sex games, games to prevent violence against women, recycling games, Jewish culture games, saving money games, and making games…
Join us for a meaningful, radical, transformative, playful conference.
October 16-18 at Michigan State University, plus the preconference Quello lecture open to the public Wednesday evening.
David Bray, the CIO of the FCC, will deliver at Quello Lecture on ‘Digital Age Public Service and Information Leadership: Opportunities, Challenges, and Prospects‘ on March 27th for the Quello Center in association with the Annual Conference of the International Telecommunications and Education Research Association (ITERA). The talk will be held at the Crown Plaza National Airport Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, in the late morning, tentatively set for 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.
David was a Visiting Doctoral Student at the Oxford Internet Institute when Bill Dutton was Director, enabling them to work together on a project focused on collaborative or distributed problem-solving with Paul David and others at the OII. Dr. Bray currently serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Federal Communications Commission but began working on computer simulations for the U.S. Department of Energy at age 15, to later design new telemedicine interfaces and space-based forest fire forecasting prototypes for the Department of Defense. In 2000, he joined as IT Chief for the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the program’s technology response to 9/11, anthrax in 2001, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and other international emergencies. He later completed a PhD in Information Systems from Emory University and two post-doctoral associateships at MIT and Harvard. In 2009, Dr. Bray volunteered in 2009 to deploy to Afghanistan to help “think differently” on military and humanitarian issues and in 2010 became a Service Executive advocating for information interoperability, cybersecurity, and protection of civil liberties. In 2012, Dr. Bray became the Executive Director for the bipartisan National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, later receiving the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal. He received both the Arthur S. Flemming Award and Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership in 2013, and currently serves as term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and as an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow.
To follow plans for this Quello Lecture, see: http://quello.msu.edu/events/action~agenda/page_offset~1/time_limit~1427468401/
Alessandro’s findings have been featured in national and international media outlets, including the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Wired.com, NPR, and CNN. His 2009 study on the predictability of Social Security numbers was featured in the “Year in Ideas” issue of the NYT Magazine (the SSNs assignment scheme was changed by the US Social Security Administration in 2011). Alessandro holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, and Master degrees from UC Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and Trinity College Dublin. He has held visiting positions at the Universities of Rome, Paris, and Freiburg (visiting professor); Harvard University (visiting scholar); University of Chicago (visiting fellow); Microsoft Research (visiting researcher); and Google (visiting scientist). He has been a member of the National Academies’ Committee on public response to alerts and warnings using social media.