Category Archives: Education Games

Conference Recap/Guest Blogger: Dave Eng – Experiential GBL

…and just like that, CUNY Games Conference 2019 has come to a close.

From my observations, it seemed like everyone learned something worthwhile during the conference – I certainly did! Now, how do we each keep the momentum going as the semester begins?

Here are some quick ideas:

  1. I could write about the conference here, but hearing the perspective of attendees is preferable. While it’s fresh in your mind, consider sending a few sentences (or a full post) about your conference experience. What did you learn? What new ideas will you implement in your classroom or related profession? In the coming weeks I will compile any conference-related submissions  into a special CGC 2019 blog entry. Stay tuned.
  2. As the semester begins, remember that it’s okay to “fail.” Each time I introduce a new game, I tell my students that this is an experiment and their input is appreciated, then we debrief and share suggestions for improvement after playing. As we learned at the conference, even a “bad” game is appreciated by students.
  3. Remember to keep things simple. As Joe Bisz shared, even having students roll dice to determine which questions to answer can be exciting.
  4. Document your journey with game-based learning. A record of what you do can be great to reflect on later. Plus, we’d love to hear about your process if you’d like to share it!

To keep the energy of GBL fresh, we’ll end today’s entry with a guest post from conference attendee Dave Eng, Ed. D. Read a summary of Dave’s post below, or click here to read the whole entry. 

Dave Eng, Ed.D. is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines, games, theory, and technology to define NEXT practice. He currently consults privately in design, training, research, and writing at University XP.  His research interests include learning theory, technology, and games. Find out more at

Experiential Games Based Learning by Dave Eng, EdD

First, what is Experiential Education? “Experiential Education is an educational philosophy that describes the process occurring between a teacher and a student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content.” Sometimes that teacher-student relationship is traditional: like classroom lecture or one-on-one apprenticeship.

Experiential education can be summarized by the phrase: LEARNING BY DOING The best part is that Experiential Education is already out there.

All of these opportunities apply experiential education methods and directly infuse learning through the relationship between the student, teacher, content, and environment.

The process of experiential learning applies Kolb’s philosophy on learning beginning with experience and addresses a four stage cycle of experiential learning.

Kolb outlined four components of experiential learning: Abstract Conceptualization “The, Huh?”, Active Experimentation “The, Try”, Concrete Experience “The, Do”, and Reflective Observation “The, Think.”

But how does this all relate to games-based learning?

Let’s have a look at that definition: “Game-based learning is a type of game play that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, game-based learning is designed to balance subject matter with game play and the ability of the player to retain, and apply said subject matter to the real world.”

Let’s think, what do games have? Games have Abstract Conceptualization from players trying to discern objectives and what the goals of the game are.

Games-based learning’s strengths lie in its application to different learning styles by incorporating players abilities to see, hear, and touch content that they could not otherwise engage in.

Weaknesses in games-based learning lies in its ability to best support short term learning.

For more info check out: What is Games Based Experiential Learning? 

Are you interested in being featured on the CGN website? If so, submit a blog post on any topic related to GBL in higher ed., and/or send links/descriptions of your blogs to Stay tuned for another guest contribution next week. 


Four Days Away! Riddles Abound.

The CUNY Games Conference is four days away
To prepare for the event, here’s a game to play
A collection of riddles, of images and cues
Relating to posters which you shall peruse

On the day of the conference please visit the hall
Where you shall find posters and game demos all
Match each of these clues with its poster/demo name
to be entered in a raffle, a chance to win the game. 

One of these riddles is different than the rest 
It relates to 1302, where, to pass the test
When it comes time for Game Play, you’ll enter the room
and find the box with the answer. Good luck, and see you soon. 

Each of these riddles relates to a poster or game demo that will be presented in the Poster and Game Demo sessions on Friday.  Walk around the room and see if you can match each clue to the correct poster/demo.  Then, submit your completed form to be entered in a drawing. Forms will be available at the conference, but you can get a head start by reading poster/demo names on the schedule at our website:

  1. Psychologists claim we remember words best by first consonants. When your first name and last name have identical consonants that makes for memorable superhero names and alter egos. Can you identify these mirrors? DD, WW, PP, NN, RR, BB? 4 of 6 are Marvels!
  2. Which demo/game am I? These tiny bots want to help you solve their problems! Meanwhile, this strange alien robot is trying to stave off disasters, and it’s time to collect some amazing gems!
  3. Stage a coup.  Assassinate your enemies. Avoid exile. Be the one at the bank with the most money and win!
  4. Team-based learning is one way to learn
    And when it is game-based, XP can be earned
    Travel through time, rediscover the past
    Learn how music evolves and legacies last.
  5. Do we shelve this poster in GV1312? Or P96? We seek to describe media literacy games, match them to learning outcomes, and then test which games work best with students. Find the librarians at the conference and we’ll open up a classifying wormhole for you to explore.
  6. For warm fuzzy feelings like poodles
    And emotional awareness in oodles
    For a game about bonding
    This is not worth absconding

    You must come and play ______!

  7. See images below. What poster or demo do they relate to?

8. This presenter sent three cryptic clues, meaning you have three chances to figure out the demo/poster they relate to:

  • There are few codes in the following two sentences that
    describe my game. They include the name of the game, the benefits, and major parts of my process. 
    Our freedom to dream and overcome any anxiety or difficulty by being resilient and taking action with faith or conviction in our interaction with ourselves and the rest of the world to connect every piece of the universe to the source of one nation-the human race- is a path for everyone to achieve his or her dreams and live a life of significance. This journey is a mind booster!
  • Click here for the second and third cryptic clues: my contribution to your blog post. decode and win!

8. Try using Caesar’s technique with a key of 3 to decode this message: FBEHUVHFXUHG

if (scientistsInTrouble)

10. Visit the Game Play room (1302) at any point during the conference to play tabletop games and answer this final riddle:

What will you sell me? What shall I buy?
This game is a fun one, both to play and modify
Bring a banana wand, money magnet, joke parade
In this game approved by Mensa, with slippery deals to be made.

If you have not already, please remember to register for the conference:

See you Friday!

Guest Blogger: Carolyn Stallard – On Modding

This week the CGN blog features Carolyn Stallard, adjunct instructor in the Music Department at Brooklyn College and member of the CUNY Games Network’s steering committee.

This past October, Carolyn presented an example of modding at the CUNY Graduate Center’s 9th Annual Pedagogy Day, organized by  the Psychology Department and the Graduate Student Teacher Association (GSTA). Visit the GSTA website to read her blog entry and learn more:

If modding is interesting to you, consider attending the upcoming CUNY Games Conference and a full workshop on modding presented by Carolyn Stallard and Joe Bisz. Learn more and register for the conference here. 

If you are a graduate student teaching at CUNY, the GSTA is a great resource (and a supporter of the CGN). To learn more about the GSTA, follow their Twitter here or join their Facebook group here. 

Are you interested in being featured on the CGN website? If so, submit a blog post on any topic related to GBL in higher ed., and/or send links/descriptions of your blogs to Stay tuned for another guest contribution next week.