This week’s podcast features John the Baptist both as guest and as subject of discussion. By this stage, you’re already clued in that my guest is Jonathan David Lawrence of Canisius College, but you’ll still have to listen to the podcast to find out how he got that nickname.
Among the things we talk about in the podcast is gamification. Jonathan created a card game to introduce students to similarities and differences between creation accounts across a range of traditions and geographical areas. You can read a blog post about it, and you can browse and buy the game via the Drive Thru Cards we site. The game incorporates elements of the Big Myth website.
We also talked about the notion of “serious games,” including a conference on the topic. I think the terminology of “serious” games has the potential to distract from or undermine the most powerful element of gamified learning, namely the potential to learn while having fun, without being consciously aware that one is learning. My own preference would be to talk about meaningful games. One reason is that we could then potentially create an Office of Meaningful Games at my university, and place the acronym over over door in all caps: OMG,
I was also very interested to talk with Jonathan about his project documenting religious life in the part of New York State where he is located. This intersects in interesting ways with the work that a student at Butler has been doing in recording the history of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation in Indianapolis and the perspectives of its board members. Once again there is a Canisius College blog about the topic as well as other resources.
Finally, here is a video featuring some of the perspectives of clergy and other faith leaders connected with upstate New York and interfaith work in the region: