Gaming is wildly popular among young people, as teachers, carers and parents would agree, usually with a groan. Now the University of Reading is spinning these preconceptions on their head with an event at their campus that will highlight how computer gaming can actually help education. On 10th November, visitors to the “Playing Peace” event at the University’s London Road campus will be encouraged to talk about children’s rights and education in times of conflict as they explore the helpful, reflective side of gaming.
Gaming is in fact a popular theme in education already. Predictably, there are strong voices about this on either side of the debate. The University hopes to foster these discussions with teachers and parents, whilst raising awareness of how computer games can actually become an excellent tool in teaching and learning reflectively.
Event organiser, Dr Yota Dimitriadi of Reading’s Institute of Education hopes to encourage young people reflect on life and raise citizenship awareness through games. She said:
“By playing on the excitement of computer games whilst discussing themes of child labour, children soldiers, consequences of forced migration, and education and conflict, we hope to foster positive contributions and change perceptions. We are inviting anyone with an interest in education, children’s welfare and development to come and play – and talk about children’s rights and education in times of conflict.”
Inspired by a fundraising event organised by the charity War Child, “Playing Peace” is part of the 2017 Festival of Social Science organised by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).