Teaching Games with Games at GDC 2022

GDC 2022, Education Summit: Tran intro

On March 22, 2022, at the 2022 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA, Professor Lien Tran joined an esteem group of educators to share new ways to look at games for change and learning. This Educators Summit session called “Teaching Games with Games 7: Changing the Game” was particularly useful for seasoned and new game educators alike, as the issues covered are important, yet not always easy to address within game courses and programs.

Professor Tran shared 3 case studies – Toma el Paso, Dwell TM, and Fines & Fees Challenge – for how games that she designed or co-designed have been discovered and used in ulterior contexts than originally intended over the years. She also shared insights into how designers should account for possible untapped audiences and the educators motivated enough to search, find, play, and learn games that bring awareness to real-world complex social systems. Designers should consider what the teachable moments are for their intended audience; these same teachable moments may be particularly useful for others to get a glimpse into these unfamiliar and surprising systems.



  • John Sharp  (Professor of Games & Learning, Parsons The New School for Design)
  • Colleen Macklin  (Associate Professor of Media Design, Parsons School of Design at The New School)


  • Kishonna Gray  (Associate Professor, University of Kentucky)
  • Dr. Edmond Y. Chang  (Assistant Professor of English, Ohio University)
  • Shawn Pierre  (Visiting Assistant Arts Professor, Independent)
  • Lien Tran  (Assistant Professor, School of Design, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University)
  • TreaAndrea Russworm  (Associate Professor of English & Associate Dean, UMass Amherst)

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