09:41 AM

Gaming-for-Good Experts Challenge Naysayers with Case Studies


“UST is a Houston pioneer in developing college gaming courses and fielding competitive esports teams who are national champions. UST sees the Tech Rodeo as an ideal opportunity to spotlight the University’s innovative leadership in the rapidly-growing field of gaming. St. Thomas has made a commitment to understanding and leveraging the breakthroughs in science and technology for the benefit of the human person.”   Dr. Beena George

UST’s ‘Gaming for Good’ panel at Houston Exponential’s annual Houston Tech Rodeo will offer case studies on the impact of games, including what works well and what does not. Games can help humans in many different ways because they tend to increase both individual and collective motivation through active hands-on, brain-on engagement.

Gaming Often Gets a Bad Rap

Gaming often gets a bad rap, because of the perception that video games are mind-numbing, violence-promoting, and socially isolating. However, research has proven otherwise. The world of gaming is far broader than many individuals indulging in a few popular video games. Beyond providing entertainment, games have a significant positive impact in different fields. 

Register and Virtually Join this Panel Discussion

Listen to these experts discuss “Gaming for Good” by registering for the Houston Tech Rodeo at Houston Tech Rodeo and virtually joining this Saloon at 9 a.m. on March 1.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Beena George, UST’s Chief Innovation Officer.

The panelists include:

·         Jonathan Blevins, a media company CEO and gamer/streamer, will talk about the creation of online communities and positive/supportive environments. 

·         Lizzie Curran is a Senior Product Manager of Privacy, Safety, and Accessibility with Unity Technologies, a game engine company. She will share how games have been developed to alert individuals about critical issues such as climate change, pollution, and social justice. 

·         Kelli Dunlap, a practicing clinical psychologist and game designer, will speak about her research on the intersection of games and mental health with a focus on the use of games in therapeutic settings. 

·         Matthew Farber, an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado, will address gaming as a form of multimodal literacy and how meaning-making during gameplay can cultivate social and emotional learning (SEL) skills.  

·         Jessica Hammond, Chief Culture Officer at Evil Geniuses, will discuss gaming and social impacts, giving particular focus to positive sustainability.

·         Matt Hogan is a neuro-regenerative researcher from the Texas Medical Center studying neuroplasticity and the influence of neural activity on regeneration after spinal cord injury, stroke or other disease. He will describe how gaming influences neural plasticity.

Coming from widely different backgrounds, the panelists will bring their diverse expertise to explain the positive impact of gaming on mental health, cognitive well-being, social sensitivity, community-building and learning effectiveness. Challenging the widely held negative opinion of gaming, the panelists will heighten awareness of gaming’s many positive outcomes and the safe practice protocols to better ensure them.