Juan Rubio, the Digital Media and Learning Program Manager at the Seattle Public Library (SPL), designs, develops, and manages educational technology programs with digital media, such as games, interactive storytelling, virtual reality experiences, and augmented reality narratives. He is the author of the chapter, Working Together: Youth-Adult Partnerships to Enhance Youth Voice, in YALSA’s new book, Putting Teens First in Library Services: A Roadmap. He is on the board of directors of Filmmakers without Borders. Mr. Rubio is also a short story writer.

KM: Ok, so I really want to talk to you about some of the summer programming you…


As the second interview in this series, I am excited to interview Paul Darvasi, who is a high school English and Media Studies teacher who teaches at Royal St. George’s College, in Toronto, Canada. Paul is also a doctoral candidate at York University, and a founding member of the Play Lab at the University of Toronto. He researches, writes, and speaks at the intersections of games, culture, society, education, and learning. He also designs pervasive or alternate reality games which he has implemented in instructional settings, and one of those games will be the focus of today’s interview.

KM: So…


Today, I’m excited to interview a close colleague and friend, Scott Price. Scott has been helping people play and learn online and offline for over 15 years. After teaching for several years, he entered the game industry with Scholastic and then joined the pioneering studio Gamelab. He moved back into “educational” games with Gamestar Mechanic, the groundbreaking game about game design, which will be the focus of today’s interview. Scott has had QA, IT, Creative, Project and Product Management roles, and has spoken on production, game design, and education at several dozen conferences and events. …


To learn more about the ideas in this story, get the book Intrinsic Rewards in Games and Learning.

If you want to know why people get addicted to games, it’s probably this: games are filled with rewards. Earning rewards is what keeps us going.

But there’s a nuance we don’t typically talk about that concerns the structure of the reward. Extrinsic rewards (a certain number of points, a flashy animation, or a grade on a report card) fail to compel gamers. Intrinsic rewards, or rewards that once gained allow you to play the game better, compel gamers immensely.

How does…


I like to say the gaming industry has done in 30 years what the educational industry hasn’t been able to do in 300, namely make self-sustained learning. The reason games are fun is that games are learning tools, and people inherently like learning (or more specifically we have an intrinsic motivation towards competence). I like to think of the gaming industry as a hotbed of educational innovation — games only sell if they are good at letting people learn, so the game industry has gotten extraordinarily good at creating learning.

Thus we come to gamification, a term spawned from the…

Kevin Miklasz

Scientist, educator, gamer, foodie: views are my own

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