Learning With Games: Critical Play & Game Design

Emily Flynn-Jones, PhD, York University

Learning through Game Design

Critical Play with Dr. Emily Flynn-Jones

In this video, games researcher and media artist, Emily Flynn Jones, introduces us to the art of critical game design. In this video, we look at critical game design & the concept of ‘critical play’, explore the value of critical play in educational contexts, and demonstrate and participate in a critical game design exercise. Building upon the work of Mary Flanagan (Values at Play Model), Dr. Flynn-Jones articulates ‘critical Play’ in relation to game making forms which consciously create ‘played experiences’ that may instantiate social values or ethical positions, or interrogate ideological systems. Games created for critical play can provide safe spaces for exploring issues, connecting artistic self-expression with critical-aesthetic interventions.

Emily Flynn-Jones has a PhD in game studies. Her critical work has a feminist bent, and is concerned with gender-based equity of access to games and game making, as well as the discourses surrounding gender in gaming. She also makes ‘strange little games’ which relate to her research.