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Pocket God - Teachable Moment from the Blogosphere

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  • tadmci
    There s a fascinating discussion going on at SavageMinds.org about a simple game for the iPhone and iPod. The game, called Pocket God, allows you to torment
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 20, 2009
      There's a fascinating discussion going on at SavageMinds.org about a
      'simple' game for the iPhone and iPod. The game, called Pocket God,
      allows you to torment native islanders of some fictional island in the
      south Pacific. What makes the discussion all-the-more interesting is
      that the game designers weighed in -- and missed the point of the
      criticism.

      I think there are terrific teachable moments raised in the post.
      Certainly if you discuss culture, race, ethnocentrism, cultural
      relativity, the representation of others, or any south Pacific culture
      in your classes, you might find the discussion worthy of sharing with
      your students. Indeed, because the post includes a video of Pocket God
      game play, students should become engaged quickly and easily.

      Click here to go to the post
      <http://savageminds.org/2009/04/18/pocket-god/> -- and be sure to read
      the comments. That's where the action is!

      Tad McIlwraith
      Douglas College



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • mep1mep
      Thanks, Tad.  It is a really interesting discussion. Pam ________________________________ From: tadmci To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday,
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 20, 2009
        Thanks, Tad.  It is a really interesting discussion.

        Pam




        ________________________________
        From: tadmci <tadm@...>
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 10:22:47 AM
        Subject: [SACC-L] Pocket God - Teachable Moment from the Blogosphere





        There's a fascinating discussion going on at SavageMinds. org about a
        'simple' game for the iPhone and iPod. The game, called Pocket God,
        allows you to torment native islanders of some fictional island in the
        south Pacific. What makes the discussion all-the-more interesting is
        that the game designers weighed in -- and missed the point of the
        criticism.

        I think there are terrific teachable moments raised in the post.
        Certainly if you discuss culture, race, ethnocentrism, cultural
        relativity, the representation of others, or any south Pacific culture
        in your classes, you might find the discussion worthy of sharing with
        your students. Indeed, because the post includes a video of Pocket God
        game play, students should become engaged quickly and easily.

        Click here to go to the post
        <http://savageminds. org/2009/ 04/18/pocket- god/> -- and be sure to read
        the comments. That's where the action is!

        Tad McIlwraith
        Douglas College

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • lauratgonzalez
        Oh. My. God. Tad. Thank you, thank you for bringing this to the forum. Holy S*&! I could only get through about half the discussion before nearly falling off
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 20, 2009
          Oh. My. God. Tad. Thank you, thank you for bringing this to the forum. Holy S*&! I could only get through about half the discussion before nearly falling off my chair. I am so utterly enraged but at the same time *fascinated* by the game developers' total lack of understanding of the anthropologists' criticisms. What do you mean we shouldn't create a game where we get to tease and kill little stereotypical colonial subjects? We aren't racists. There is no racism anymore.

          At one point in the commentary, the developer even argues that the little bone-wearing Pacific Islanders - the protagonists of this game which you, the God, can manipulate and torture - are really just "semi-human, like creatures." So we shouldn't worry our little anthropologists' heads over this whole premise. Oh, I feel so much better. Throwing the Pacific Islanders into the volcano was much more difficult when we actually considered them human.

          ACK!

          This comes to class with me this week. Gracias, gracias. Incredible teachable moment. I hope it goes viral.



          --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "tadmci" <tadm@...> wrote:
          >
          > There's a fascinating discussion going on at SavageMinds.org about a
          > 'simple' game for the iPhone and iPod. The game, called Pocket God,
          > allows you to torment native islanders of some fictional island in the
          > south Pacific. What makes the discussion all-the-more interesting is
          > that the game designers weighed in -- and missed the point of the
          > criticism.
          >
          > I think there are terrific teachable moments raised in the post.
          > Certainly if you discuss culture, race, ethnocentrism, cultural
          > relativity, the representation of others, or any south Pacific culture
          > in your classes, you might find the discussion worthy of sharing with
          > your students. Indeed, because the post includes a video of Pocket God
          > game play, students should become engaged quickly and easily.
          >
          > Click here to go to the post
          > <http://savageminds.org/2009/04/18/pocket-god/> -- and be sure to read
          > the comments. That's where the action is!
          >
          > Tad McIlwraith
          > Douglas College
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • tadmci
          Yes, the semi-human reference is very disturbing ... I was fascinated too by how quickly the comment thread became two conversations -- one by the anthros and
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 21, 2009
            Yes, the semi-human reference is very disturbing ... I was fascinated too by how quickly the comment thread became two conversations -- one by the anthros and the other by the gamers.

            As I've said to several people this week, I wish I was still teaching just to be able to show students that video and to talk with them about the issues raised. Glad it will be useful.

            Tad



            --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "lauratgonzalez" <ltgonzalez@...> wrote:
            >
            > Oh. My. God. Tad. Thank you, thank you for bringing this to the forum. Holy S*&! I could only get through about half the discussion before nearly falling off my chair. I am so utterly enraged but at the same time *fascinated* by the game developers' total lack of understanding of the anthropologists' criticisms. What do you mean we shouldn't create a game where we get to tease and kill little stereotypical colonial subjects? We aren't racists. There is no racism anymore.
            >
            > At one point in the commentary, the developer even argues that the little bone-wearing Pacific Islanders - the protagonists of this game which you, the God, can manipulate and torture - are really just "semi-human, like creatures." So we shouldn't worry our little anthropologists' heads over this whole premise. Oh, I feel so much better. Throwing the Pacific Islanders into the volcano was much more difficult when we actually considered them human.
            >
            > ACK!
            >
            > This comes to class with me this week. Gracias, gracias. Incredible teachable moment. I hope it goes viral.
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "tadmci" <tadm@> wrote:
            > >
            > > There's a fascinating discussion going on at SavageMinds.org about a
            > > 'simple' game for the iPhone and iPod. The game, called Pocket God,
            > > allows you to torment native islanders of some fictional island in the
            > > south Pacific. What makes the discussion all-the-more interesting is
            > > that the game designers weighed in -- and missed the point of the
            > > criticism.
            > >
            > > I think there are terrific teachable moments raised in the post.
            > > Certainly if you discuss culture, race, ethnocentrism, cultural
            > > relativity, the representation of others, or any south Pacific culture
            > > in your classes, you might find the discussion worthy of sharing with
            > > your students. Indeed, because the post includes a video of Pocket God
            > > game play, students should become engaged quickly and easily.
            > >
            > > Click here to go to the post
            > > <http://savageminds.org/2009/04/18/pocket-god/> -- and be sure to read
            > > the comments. That's where the action is!
            > >
            > > Tad McIlwraith
            > > Douglas College
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
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