The Minecraft Experience Panel Presentation Games for Change NYC April 24th 2014

Panel Organiser:Bron Stuckey
Panel Moderator: Nicholas Fortugno

The project site supporting this culminating panel will be available at hosted by The Massively Minecraft Project and be opened mid February to kick off this project.

Games for Learning

Format of your presentation:**
  • Series of Speakers
  • 30 minutes
  • All: Open to all experience levels


Panel Organiser and speaker: Dr Bronwyn Stuckey
  • Bronwyn Stuckey
  • Researcher The Massively Minecraft Project, Fellow ASU Center for Games & Impact
  • Email Address:
  • Bron has been engaged in educational community and games in learning development for the past 15 years. She is a postdoctoral research fellow of the Arizona State University Center for Games & Impact and has been a global lead for the Quest Atlantis program for 10 years. She has worked to explore virtual worlds, games in learning and how we can cultivate identity, agency, citizenship, leadership, and community for students and teachers. Her role in the global communities of PLANE, Massively Minecraft and Quest Atlantis has lead to some breakthrough understandings about how gaming and digital citizenship need to be treated as a lived curriculum.
  • Speaker Website:
  • Speaker Twitter: @bronst

Speaker 1 Nicholas Fortugno - Panel Moderator
  • Nicholas Fortugno
  • Company / Organization: Founder of Playmatics, Faculty Parsons The New School for Design
  • Email Address:
  • Nick Fortugno is a game designer and entrepeneur of digital and real-world games based in New York City, and a founder of Playmatics. From 2007-2009, Nick was the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Rebel Monkey, a NYC online games company. Before Rebel Monkey, Fortugno was the Director of Game Design at gameLab, where he was a designer, writer and project manager on dozens of commercial and serious games, and served as lead designer on the downloadable blockbuster Diner Dash and the award-winning serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Nick teaches game design and interactive narrative design at Parsons The New School of Design, and has participated in the construction of the school's game design curriculum.
  • Website:
  • Twitter: @nickfortugno

Speaker #2 Sasha Barab
  • Sasha Barab
  • Professor in the Teachers College at Arizona State University, Executive Director of the Center for Games and Impact.
  • Speaker #3 Email Address:
  • Dr. Barab is an internationally recognized Learning Scientist who holds the Pinnacle West Chair of Education, and who has researched, designed, and published extensively on the challenges and opportunities of using games for impact. Leveraging design-based and impact-based research methodologies, his work focuses the design and research of game-infused learning environments to support a more knowledgeable, compassionate, and committed citizenship.
  • Speaker #3 Website:
  • Speaker #3 Twitter: @sbarab

Speaker #3 Juan Rubio
  • Juan Rubio
  • Associate Director

    Global Kids

    January 2014 – Present (4 months)Greater New York City Area
    Lead digital media department to create programs using technology and media for youth in New York City schools and after-school programs. Work with partners and stakeholders to develop and implement programs using media and video games to address social and global issues. Find new opportunities for creating new programs.
  • @virtualrubio

Speaker #4 Barry Joseph
  • Barry Joseph
  • Associate Director for Digital Learning at the Museum of Natural History
  • Speaker #4 Email Address:
  • Barry Joseph is Associate Director of Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2000, he has developed innovative programs in the areas of youth-produced video games, mobile and augmented learning, virtual worlds, digital fabrication, alternative assessments models, and more, always seeking to combine youth development practices with the development of high profile digital media projects that develop 21st Century Skills and New Media Literacies. Now, at the Museum, he is helping to guide youth learning programs to leverage digital tools to advance informal science learning. He co-developed Minecraft at the Museum, an after school program combining museum exhibits with Minecraft builds, such as global food production and the power of poison. He has been hugged by Oprah and is writing the first history of seltzer. This work can be followed at and @MMMooshme He is one of the co-founders of Games For Change.
  • Speaker #5 Website:
  • Speaker #5 Twitter: @mmmooshme

Speaker #5 Student Panelist, Snowkit - The Elisabeth Morrow School
  • Snowkit
  • 7th grader, lifelong gamer, designer and storyteller
  • Snowkit is well known for her inexhaustible creativity, leadership and mentoring skills with both peers and adults. Always up for a new challenge, Snowkit has been instrumental in shaping EMS Minecraft program over the last several years. It is unclear whether it is her persuasive charms or her unwillingness to accept "no" as an answer that has driven the program forward. What is clear is that her insatiable desire to build amazing spaces for play and learning has inspired a new kind of curriculum at her school.

Speaker #6 Marianne Malmstrom
  • Marianne Malmstrom -aka- Knowclue.
  • Cognitive Architect at The Elisabeth Morrow School
  • Speaker #6 email address:
  • A recognized leader in the use of virtual environments, digital games and multimedia in education. Marianne closely follows how students use technology outside of school to better understand how to design more relevant learning spaces in school.

Examples of speaker Public Speaking History:

Panel Abstract: 100 words

This lively panel session will explore the Minecraft experience from a variety of perspectives (school, museum, home, research, and self-organised) to define the edges of that experience and Minecraft’s relationship to, and impact on, learning. The notable educators and learners will describe and question the relationship to learning of various adoptions and adaptations of the game. The panel session will be preceded by online activity, for learners, teachers, parents and developers, to articulate, define, and categorize experiences, questions and share evidence-based arguments. Panelists will draw on this crowd-sourced material to bring voices from the global player base into the room.

Extended Description:

Last year at G4C Nick Fortugno threw some controversy into the conversation about Minecraft by suggesting Minecraft was not a game but a toy. The proposed panel extends that conversation by asking what is the Minecraft experience, can it be defined or categorised and what as game designers and exponents can we take from understanding its zeitgeist and the impact it has had on the serious gaming landscape?

In 2012/23 at both GLS and G4C many presenters made jokes about including the obligatory Minecraft slide and for very good reasons. Minecraft is arguably a game of immense impact. It has been embraced as part of learning programs focussing on seemingly disparate areas from digital citizenship, history, coding and the maker movement. It is probably the first game brought into the classroom by teachers to leverage the out of school groundswell of existing player excitement. It's impact is multi generational and perhaps more global than any game before it. The fan base and user community/ies are strong and well supported and exemplar of the potential Jim Gee describes for Big G game. This panel proposes to leverage that Big G space in the lead up to Games for Change 2014 and to honor the voices of its players.

Minecraft has been variously described as a game, toy sandpit, learning space, creative environment, virtual world, and game-infused service. But what really are the affordances of this blocky 16 bit program and how can we even begin to define its value to learning? Enter the Minecraft Experience, a global crowdsourced program managed by Bron Stuckey of The Massively Minecraft Project. People engaging in Minecraft activities about the globe are being invited to describe Minecraft in all its contexts and adaptations. The categories for these experiences will emerge from the crowd sourced content as members contribute thoughts, media, resources and questions to build the __Minecraft Experience__ evidence base.

This panel of notable speakers has been drawn together to answer provocative questions about Minecraft's success and define its relationship to and impact on learning. The panelists have been chosen to represent play in many contexts formal education, informal learning, self-organised learning, schools and non-school contexts. They include game designers, educators, researchers, learners and parents who have each had a personal and professional experience of this and many other games.

Panelists take a position on the Minecraft experience and use the resources provided by members of the project to inform, support and evidence their case.

How are players, educators and researchers invited to contribute?
  • project wiki to prod, poke, stimulate and support crowd sourced content and dialog
  • live youth speakers on the panel
  • social media and wiki activity in lead-up using selected #minecraftproject
  • video inclusions of educators, parents, kids/youth arguments, evidence and questions
  • promotion of youth media pieces from existing YouTube etc to support and stimulate various provocative dialogs
  • livestream of the panel to global contributors with live feedback and questions.

Who could benefit from joining this project and attending the G4C 2014 panel session?
  • Educators seeking to understand Minecraft's value to learning
  • Programs seeking to adapt Minecraft as part of a program of impact or change.
  • Game designers seeking to build in its wake
  • Anyone wanting to consider issues of fidelity, adaptation, constructionism, popular culture, and impact in gaming.