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by Kae on Sep 06, 2016 at 02:18 PM
Hello Everyone,

If you are interested in helping organize and helping out in general with the ISTE Games & Sims Network at the conference in San Antonio please let us know.

Here's what we'll be far

Our 4th annual LAN/Game Night. You can take a look at 3rd annual here.
(Even if you aren't a game expert - we really need friendly and outgoing greeters)

ISTE LAN Party and Games Nite by kaezenovka, on Flickr

and the Machinima Fest (screencapture and channels of games, virtual worlds and mixed reality)

We normally have a Booth/Poster Area at Networking fair - we will be looking for a theme (again need friendly and outgoing greeters)

and we'd be more than happy to consider submitting other sessions!

If you are bringing students and they like games (designing, developing or playing). We'd love to include them.

Also if you are local in San Antonio or close by please let is know. Having locals really helped us staff the events in Denver.

Even if you're not going we could really use help with organizing, making handouts, resource sites and communications.

Feel free to respond here or email

by Kae on Aug 30, 2016 at 11:40 PM
If you are interested, here's the game based learning section we submitted tonite for a Digital Citizen report. It did come with some already turned in articles but we tried to make everything work. Gratz to Grid, Trish, Sherry and Chris for all the writing they did. This portion may not be coming out for a little while but the full report should have a write up in TES on Friday and maybe EdSurge sometime next week.

pidgey in grocerycart by gridjumper1, on Flickr

by Kae on Aug 12, 2016 at 05:26 PM
Gamasutra recently published this blog post Augmenting the Classroom: Evolving Education Through Virtual Field Trips by John Krajewski. It starts with “Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Pokemon Go phenomenon is its speed; in a week, it was used more than Twitter. It was an idea the world was ready for, packaged in a form that was easily approachable.”

For many of us in the Games & Sims Network and I’ve also seen this in the Mobile Learning Network augmented the classroom is not new. Our students have their devices out, we are going outside the classroom and we are trying to get closer to a seamless mobile learning environment. Field trips using augmented reality are not new and many educators have become accidental game designers.

In the second half of the article the author then tells us about his product which looks gamey but doesn’t take our students outside the classroom. I think our students are ready for more games and field trips outside the classroom. There are mobile apps that will let you create games, field trips and whatever else your inner Game Master or Game Designer wants to do.

Just go to the app store and look for virtual field trips. The ISTE Mobile Learning Network used Klikaklu for the Mobile Quest in Denver. Klikaklu was also used at Colorado Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference last week. Here’s some screenshot and pictures from the Literacy License Quest.
You can see additional pictures on the ISTE Games & Sims Flickr site.

There are other apps other than will let you do this like goosehunt and even an app by Niantic Lab’s Field Trip (Yes , the same company that does Pokémon Go). If you need a little inspiration read The accidental history of Niantic’s Pokémon Go, as told by John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs.

You have time before school starts – so go out and start creating that adventure for your students!

COLTT 2016 by kaezenovka, on Flickr
by Kae on Aug 11, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Pokemon Go crushes Candy Crush Soda Saga first month revenue and has still not gone live in China, India and Korea. At the same time Pokemon Go is banned by the High Council of Virtual Spaces (or at least that is the translation) due to a fatwa issued in 2001 for Pokémon card game.

Request for Pokémon Go Stops and Gyms?
A few weeks it go it seemed like you could request these through the player support page on the website. Now Niantic has posted not to submit requests.

Pokemon Go - Jigglypuff by Sherry Jones, on Flickr
by Abacus on Jul 23, 2016 at 08:04 PM

Hi all, I have a thought about a fun machinima that involves this achievement

The achievement is earned by talking to doomsayers in Orgrimmar (Stormwind - alliance) and then 15 mins later you can pick up another one. You need all 12 of the different pamphlets - Blackened, Crumpled, Damp, Demonic, Odorous, Ominous, Prophetic, Scrambled, Scribbled, Stained, Tattered and Worn.

Well there is a grim workaround for this 15 min CD. If you die, it resets and allows you to get the pamphlets. So some industrious players (Milahee and Shaomai included) have decided to repeatedly take their own lives to earn this achieve. So I think it would be great to have some footage of our raid doing this tactic and enmasse all around the doomsayer.

To make it faster, once you die, talk to the spirit healer and take the 10min debuff and then rinse and repeat. The easiest way to self harm your toon is to fly up really high and the dismount.. watch out for the zepplins, Shoamai almost ended up in Undercity. :D

Also to save you a massive repair bill (Shaomai's was 700g mine was 600g), strip down your toon and put your gear in your bank. If you put it in your bags like we did, it won't take fall damage, but it will take 75% durability loss when you take the spirit healer rez.

Shaomai also unwittingly proved that you did not need to keep all 12 pamphlets in your bags to get the achieve. If you need to sell them off due to bag space limitations, then that is fine. You will still earn the achieve once you collect one of each.

Let me know if you want to join in. :D We'll meet in Orgrimmar in the Valley of Wisdom (Tauren area) by the Druid, Shaman, and hunter trainers.
by Kae on Jul 21, 2016 at 06:03 PM
Last night, Sherry Jones facilitated a very chatty Google Hangout on The Blockchain Effect on the Future of the Humanities. We were lucky enough to have James Willis @Willis3James and Jeff Wahl as our special guests along with other guildees, Doug Levin, Trish Cloud and Kae Novak.

Here's a link to the slides and the Book Club reading and resources that Sherry picked for this week.

2 additional resources that Sherry introduced us to are

Open Syllabus Project

Proof of Existence

Blockchain Humanities Hangout 2 by kaezenovka, on Flickr

by Kae on Jul 20, 2016 at 02:44 PM
Games & Simulations Weekly

Pokémon GO is now the best selling mobile app game in the United States. We are continuing to collect lots of blog posts and so far a few videos about its use educationally on this Google doc Here’s the ISTE Connect blog post that went out on Friday and also the Hangout the Games & Sims Network did on Pokémon GO last week. Feel free to add this document either in comments or just ask for editing access.

Some new resources include:

Great quote from President of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, Chris Presland, "Crazes come and go, they're all learning opportunities, it's just a question of how cleverly teachers can catch them." Pokemon Go may help, not hinder in rural schools, Sydney Morning Herald (July 17, 2016)

Should teachers care about Pokémon Go? by Dean Groom (July 20, 2016)
Good article asking for more research on MOBAs, ARGs and even a mention of the Interactive Fiction Great, Emily Short. This is a good read for educators who also look at game studies.

Evaluating the Power of Pokemon Go: Q & A with Jim Gee, Education Week (July 19, 2016)
May need to subscribe for access. Gee’s points are similar to other posts and articles but includes a discussion of common public culture, big data and the freemium model.

If you or your students play World of Warcraft, then you probably know that MMO will have a brand new expansion starting on August 30. The time leading up to the expansion is when a number of new features are being introduced. We’ll have updates from Network members who are part of the educators’ gaming guild Inevitable Betrayal.

Tonite (Wednesday) July 20 at 8 pm ET is the last Google Hangout for our Metagame Book Club on the Blockchain Revolution. Sherry Jones will be facilitating and we will have 2 special guests, James Willis and Jeff Wahl, our embedded librarian.

Part 1. Ethical Considerations of Blockchain Design"
Part 2. Ethical Considerations of Blockchain in the Humanities" slide or some possible ways Blockchain will change teachers' pedagogy and students' learning practices.
Part 3 How Blockchain can be used in Game Development

Thursday July 21 sometime around 2 pm ET we’ll periscope out Jeff Wahl on his reaction to the Blockchain Hangout the night before. Follow @kzenovka on periscope or look for the #metagame hashtag.

Pokemon Go in the Library by kaezenovka, on Flickr

by Kae on Jan 22, 2016 at 04:20 PM
OK this is not really an event, but it is all about transferring the knowledge. We are finishing up with normals so we need anyone running with us to be familiar with any of the upper levels fights. That’s Socrethar, Iskar, Zakuun, Tyrant. We’ll also start on Mannoroth and Archimonde soon. One or two people not knowing what to do in the fight can wipe us. We don’t raid for that many consecutive hours so an extra 2 or 3 wipes can mean we don’t get a boss down that night or that week. We have seen based on Socrethar that we can switch to 2 healing in a group of 10 and get the boss down.

Sign up for an LFR on a ranged class. When you get to the boss you need to study - don’t participate. Keep yourself alive but watch the NPCS and the mechanics. Take notes, talk with other guildees in the group, and look for how the boss / dbm telegraphs the mechanic. These are the things that we need everyone to know and recognize. Remember the LFR exists as part of a scaffolded learning experience.

Gorfiend by kaezenovka, on Flickr

Use a dual screen (if you have one) and have Icy Veins up on the fight description. If you don’t, print out Icy Veins or write down notes. As the fight is happening, compare back and forth. What new mechanics are you seeing, what haven’t you seen before. Really watch DBM so you know when the announcements are happening.

Then once the fight is done, jump out if you aren’t looking for VP. Go back in and run the fight on your main. Keep the dual screen up or print-off up. LFR might ignore the mechanics but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice.
by Kae on Dec 29, 2015 at 01:51 AM
Even if it is your first time, we’re looking for you to come to the raid with declarative knowledge. Examples of this are knowing what needs to be interrupted and that ranged dps targets Dread Infernals. Knowing this ahead of time rather than waiting to experience it can make a difference in how many times we do attempts. Melee should not go after Dread Internals because of fel hellfire which does 25,340 fire damge to anyone within 10 yards ever 1 sec for 17 sec. These types of tips are usually also listed under “Damage Dealers” in the Dungeon Journal.

Winter Break Raiding by kaezenovka, on Flickr
by Amednable on Apr 25, 2014 at 01:20 PM
Are we addicted to air and water? Or are they basic rights.

I am "addicted" to learning and reading and that fiero moment where all my preconceptions are challenged and I see something in a new light. For me both learning and gaming allow me to enter a state of "flow" where time flies by.

I think people would talk about my childhood reading habits in the EXACT SAME WAY they talk about gaming habits today. Excessive, alternative to social engagement, prevents physical activity. Kids do NOT need 8-10 hours of PRINT TIME every day - it's not normal. I loved reading so much, I would finish even the worst of horrible books because it was better than nothing. I devoured War and Peace one time in Swedish, just because it was available and nothing else was. I read the backs of cereal boxes at the kitchen table when my parents adamantly refused to let me bring books. Addictive behaviors? Maybe. I would "sneak" books - reading them inside the desk during lectures, hiding in my room when I was supposed to be helping with chores, or in a peaceful place outdoors when I was supposedly playing or taking a walk. I would read while walking and crossing the street. Today I read the interwebs daily and usually polish off 3-5 books per week, mostly science fiction but also lay science and anything else interesting. When I'm curious about something I read bunches of white papers and research and articles and blog posts. I read fast - which means my $$/hr paid for reading is fairly high, sadly. REAMDE took me a good two days and for me there was a fierce feeling of joy when we found the hackers and I discovered that there was still more than half the book to go!

So why is my litany of bookish excesses more like a humblebrag and my litany of gaming kinda shameful in mixed company? Some socially constructed bad assumptions at play here... (get it? "at play"????)

One of the things I found interesting about both REAMDE and FTW was how the kids who played for "work" also played "for fun". And how different the dynamic/feeling was between the two. The "addicition" isn't satisfied with the playing that's done as "work", I think? In some guilds, WoW becomes more like "work" with no time for fun. I think its interesting to pay attention to how in our guild it feels like "fun" even when wiping or grinding...
by Cloud on Apr 23, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Well as Depana has said, she finished the book. That is quite the achieve! That should have unlocked something epic, but in this case it will be just the satisfaction of knowing you finsihsed. I remember in our Tweetchat about our book club, some mentioned starting Reamde, but no one mentioned finishing it. I can see why. It is a bit daunting. And Mr. Stephenson's penchant for detail can get suffocating. I find myself skimming greater and greater chunks as he continues to give detailed observations about roads, trailer parks, or the terrain of T'Rain. I just want to get to the story.

The descriptions of the internet cafes in Xiamen were interesting. In a way his descriptive nature was benefical in this case. When I was reading the begining chapters of FTW and they were describing the cafes in India, I really did not get the PICTURE of what one of these "cafes" look like or the size of them. But the cafes he describes in Reamde are immense. And the reader is allowed to be stunned by the size along with Xula, when she is thinking it is going to be something akin to a Starbucks. Not something on the size of a casino in Las Vegas. So instead of gaming for chips that represent money, players game for gold that represents real money. And is the game still fun when you HAVE to play to earn money vs playing for the flow and fiero?

Blue Appaloosa mentioned he might be willing to buy gold in order to just get some better equipment. I understand the grind...many of us in IB are grinding now; whether it be for that Legendary Cloak from the Black Prince or trying to hit 600 in a profession. But the question presents itself for me at least: the grind is worth it for the fiero moment when I finally hit 600 in leatherworking at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I had been working on that all week long. And to finally hit it was EPIC! Also, for all of you that earned your Legendary cloaks...wasn't the grind worth the fiero of the payoff? Would you still have that fiero moment if you didn't have to work so hard for the item? Would it mean the same if you were able to just purchase the cloak for gold?

I play not only for the social aspect of playing with a guild of people I enjoy running around Azeroth with and learning from. I also play for those fiero moments when you down the boss, finally complete a quest, or get to be best friends with Nat Pagle. You see you can't just MAKE these things happen. In order to get the reward you have to work through the process. There may be small rewards along the way but the big daddy reward is at the end. I can see why people like us want to use this kind of games based learning in the classroom. Going back to the addiction aspect...what if students were as addicted to learning as some get to gaming?

And yes, I spend a lot of time on WoW. Last week on Spring Break I know there was a couple of days when I was in game for about 12 hours. And it went by fast, total flow for hours on end. I can definitely see where this would not be a good thing. It is very good I have to go to work 5 days a week. Which brings me to the article I just posted in the G+ community about the Russian guy who has earned every achievement in WoW. That has got to require a TON of time in game.

So all these things are floating around in my head as I am reading about the WOR (War of Realignment) which is a battle between bright colors and earthtones. How they are going to work that into the lore of T'Rain. And the ongoing search for the hacker responsible for the REAMDE virus.

I think I need to start listening to the audio book, I know I can listen faster than I can read.
by Cloud on Apr 06, 2014 at 11:35 PM
So I've made it further in this adventure called REAMDE. Now I know, REAMDE is a virus that is running rampant in the MMORPG called T'Rain which is at the center of the book. This virus moves to your computer from the game while you are playing. It takes all your files, encyrpts them, and essentially holds them hostage until you pay ingame gold ransom to get them unencrypted. Unfortunately the virus has moved into a computer that is owned by some really dangerous organized crime folks from Russia. Now our heroine and others are trying to explain MMORPGs etc to people who have no idea what is going on. And for those who have never played a game it's hard to make them understand the realities of gaming in a virtual world. I know I have barely scratched the surface of where this book is going to go. But so far it is an interesting read and fun to delve into since I understand the idea behind it.

One scene that was interesting to me is when Zula is thinking about the fact that she has never played T'Rain because she was just never interested. But she has gone to work for the parent company to work with the mastermind geologist/designer of T'Rain and in order to work with/for him she must play the game. She speaks of the addiction to the game and never really understanding it but after having to play for more than 6 hours straight it had taken on new meaning to her. At this point I wondered is addiction the name that should be used? I guess for some it would be. Although I don't see the physical addiction part. I see WoW as my hobby. Some people spend their time gardening or cooking, I spend mine playing a MMORPG. This is not the first time the topie of addiction has come up in referring to a video game. I am wondering if the author is going to pursue this topic more or if it is just his opinion of MMORPGs.

More to come...
by Cloud on Apr 02, 2014 at 11:21 AM
I posted something about the book I am reading Reamde yesterday on the G+ community. Ana Leiander suggested a blog, so instead of recreating the wheel with yet another website. I am making entries here.

So this weekend I started the daunting task of reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson. It is my first venture reading anything by this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. But an interesting trend I see in cyberpunk novels. Gold farming for profit = bad. I had started For the Win by Cory Doctorow, I didn't finish because it was due back at the library and was on hold (no renewal :( ). The main theme of that book was gold farming and how it essentially is slave labor in countries like China and India, where they find the gaming "naturals" and use them to farm gold for profit. In just the beginning chapters of Reamde it is the same thing but the chief protagonist has found a solution, a way to farm gold and not lose money.

Anytime anyone does something like that -- well you know bad stuff is gonna happen and it's gonna happen soon. I haven't gotten that far. Needless to say there is INEVITABLY more to come...
by Kae on Sep 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM
While Chris did the numbers , I’d really like to reflect on the Fiero moment last night. We only had nine players. Seven of them less than optimally geared alts, many of us playing that class for the first time in Throne of Thunder***. Izzy, ever the analytical pragmatist expressed our chances of downing the boss but despite the reality kept strategizing and went to re-equip and keep trying. Our team of healers was phenomenal. Z pulling out his monk for added dps, Jakkori, the consummate utility player who went heals for this fight and Shaomai with 66 k heals. Zarr and Lotus were exemplary and really proved that is was all about knowing the mechanics and your team. Thanks to the whole team for not believing there is only one way to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. For those of you who haven’t been with us from the start, this was an example of how this guild is all about knowledge construction in WoW or whatever world we are in. We were the raiders that John Seeley Brown highlights in the video. This is also where we as educators see the learning that happens in end game. Fail fast, constant analytics, social knowledge construction and entrepreneurial learning. And just like JSB says this happens every night.

Thank you to everyone in this guild who runs, raids, quests, tranmorgs, trades, curates and fishes. You make it fun, create the flow and produce the “die and do over” that makes the fiero possible!

***We had Jabber but let’s call him the outlier that he is any group or raid. Really Jabber – so have to thank you for your collaboration skills. At any point, you could take agro and totally take the boss away. And you’re so totally a nice guy about it all too!