2023 Conference

The conference is over. Please see the published conference proceedings at CUNY Academic Works.

The CUNY Games Network of the City University of New York is excited to announce The CUNY Games Conference 9.0 on January 23 & 24th, 2023.

This two-day hybrid conference will have online sessions on Day 1 and in-person sessions on Day 2. Online sessions will have participant-led presentations, less formal idea exchanges held in breakout rooms, and a handful of organizer-led workshops. Our in-person Day 2 will have a short session led by the organizers on modding tabletop games for education, and then presenters will be invited to playtest their own games or playful activities (either completed or in-progress). There will also be time for the free play of published tabletop games.

The CUNY Games Network promotes game-based pedagogies, focusing particularly on non-digital playful learning activities faculty can use in the classroom every day. We aim to bring together all stakeholders: teachers, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and game designers. This year we are also opening the conference’s doors to include K-12 teachers. Both CUNY and non-CUNY participation is welcome—and completely free of charge.

Call for Abstracts

We are calling all teachers, staff, and graduate students who play or design games/playful interactive activities for your students to participate or present! Both CUNY and non-CUNY participation is welcome, including K-12. Please use the following link for more information about submitting a proposal: https://tinyurl.com/fz9updc7

Conference Registration

While the conference is free to attend, the Zoom link will only be sent out to registered individuals.

If you plan to come to our in-person Day 2, this requires a special proof of vaccination pass: follow the directions at this link. You must apply for the pass *at least 72 hours* before January 24th!

Please use the following link to register for the conference: https://forms.gle/waZ74PCN7o7huTNP6

Conference Logistics

Please read the following document in advance of the conference to avoid any technical hiccups: https://tinyurl.com/5dnjhmzd

Open Space

Throughout the conference, access our Open Space document and add resources, ideas, conference feedback, etc. You may type directly into the document or add comments on the side. We will refer to this document during the conference. You may want to bookmark it and/or keep it open in a separate tab on your device. https://tinyurl.com/ed6xp46d



Online via Zoom

9:30 AM: Opening “icebreaker” game and conference introduction

Meet your colleagues and learn more about the conference! Even if you arrive late, you can play this asynchronous game throughout the conference.

9:50 – 11:20 AM: “What’s Your Game Plan?: How to Find the Allure of Play” Online Design Workshop
(By Joe Bisz; also hosted by the CUNY Games Network team)

What does the lesson “Finding Citations,” the game “Trivial Pursuit,” and the mechanic “Bluffing” all have in common? In this boot camp brainstorm, your team is given a mission: to enhance your exercise with the mechanics of popular board games in only 20 minutes. This brand-new workshop, designed by CUNY Games Network co-founder Joe Bisz, is based on his regularly featured workshop at the CUNY Games Conference, and will show you how to integrate more play and games into your online or in-person classroom. This time, Joe will be previewing some of his “complex mechanic” templates for making learning games, as described in his upcoming book, so if you’ve seen this WYGP? design tool at our previous conferences, we’ll have an advanced design challenge for you!

11:30 – 12:20 PM: Presentations:
20 min talks + 5 min Q&A each

Main Room organizer: Carolyn

Note: The moderator-organizer for each breakout will introduce each presentation and vocally interrupt with 5-minute warnings. The main room organizer will give a 1-minute time slot warning and “end” breakout rooms.

Breakout room 1
Moderator-organizer: Grace

  1. “Using the EscapeIF System for Storytelling Games in Low-Resource Classrooms.” Scott Nicholson (Wilfrid Laurier University) 
  2. “Telematic Play: A Demonstration of Online and In-Real-Time Music Performance.” Tom Zlabinger (York College)

Breakout room 2
Moderator-organizer: Joe

  1. “Teaching Rhetoric and Composition with Twine.” Sandra Leonard (Kutztown University)
  2. “Bringing Improvisation And Theatre Games Into The Non-Theatre Classroom.” Marcy Arlin (John Jay College)

Breakout room 3
Moderator-organizer: Devorah

  1. “Designing for All: Teaching Accessibility through Games.” Devorah Kletenik (Brooklyn College) & Rachel F. Adler (Northeastern Illinois University)
  2. ”Using TTRPG Style “Student Character Sheets” to Encourage Student Reflection.” Weiling Deng (Champlain College), William Duffy (Bristol Community College), and Craig Pepin (Champlain College)

12:30 – 1:30 PM: Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30 PM: Presentations:
(15 min talks + 5 min Q&A each)

Main Room organizer: Joe

Breakout room 1
Moderator-organizer: Devorah

  1. “The Point of Points: The End of Grading the Beginning of Learning.” David Seelow, (Siena College and the College of Saint Rose)
  2. “Transforming Trauma with Games for Social Change.” Beatriz Albuquerque (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro; CI-ISCE/ ISCE Douro – Instituto Superior de Ciências Educativas do Douro; CEIS20 – Universidade de Coimbra; CITAR – Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal.)
  3. Purposeful Games as a Tool: Fostering Real-World Integration.” Lanae Dancy  (Kutztown University)

Breakout room 2
Moderator-organizer: Grace

  1. “Virtual Gaming Simulation: A Burgeoning Approach to Nursing Education.” Natasha Nurse-Clarke (Lehman College) & Brenda Hernandez-Acevedo (Lehman College)
  2. “Playful Pedagogy to Enhance Learning in Nursing Education in the Time of COVID.” Steven Baumann (Hunter College)
  3. “The Genetic Code — From Concept to Game.” TAM (Neuronic) & Kristina Hedbacker (Rockefeller University)

2:40 – 3:40 PM: Presentations:
(15 min talks + 5 min Q&A each)

Main Room organizer: Devorah

Breakout room 1
Moderator-organizer: Grace

  1. “Viking at Iona!” Mary A. Valante (Appalachian State University) & Vicky McAlister (Towson University) 
  2. “Roll for Information Literacy.” Jeffrey Delgado (Kingsborough Community College)
  3. “Explorists in action: an artistic narrative game in teacher education.” Marta Cabral (College of Staten Island) 

Breakout room 2
Moderator-organizer: Rob

‘I act, therefore I am”: Bodily Self-Consciousness in Virtual Worlds and the Classroom.” Robert O. Duncan (York College) & Evan A. Owens (CUNY Graduate Center)

3:50 – 4:20 PM: Wrap-Up 

Day 2

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Fiterman Hall – 6th floor, 245 Greenwich St.
Room F603, F604, F605

*Important Note: You CANNOT attend our Day 2 event unless you have a valid “Cleared4” pass or Excelsior Pass Plus, regardless of whether you are from a CUNY college or outside of CUNY. You must apply for the pass at least 72 hours in ADVANCE of the event. To get this pass, please follow the instructions at this link.

When entering the building, show the guard your pass and your photo ID, and say you’re here for the “CUNY Games Meeting.” Any problems, text organizer Joe Bisz at the number within the above link.

10:00 – 10:15 AM: Meet Your Fellow Attendees

10:1510:30 AM: How to Redesign

The Conference Organizers will briefly discuss some of common mechanics from tabletop games, and how we can use them for instructional purposes. This way, as we play games later today, we can also take a few minutes to debrief after each game on the most appealing mechanics we saw in action!

10:30 – 3:00 PM and onward: Casual play and playtesting

Do you have a game that you’d like to test or have critiqued? You can playtest new games designed by your colleagues or just join in on some good ol’ casual play of board games and card games for fun.

If you are playtesting, be sure to read these rules for playtests here (see second page of link):

The following is a sample of the games we will playtest:

  1. “Roll for Information Literacy.”
    –Jeffrey Delgado (Kingsborough Community College).
  2. “The Genetic Code — From Concept to Game.”
    –TAM (Neuronic) & Kristina Hedbacker (Rockefeller University).

*All times listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Educators coming together to explore how the principles of games promote learning