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For Equity & Social Impact

Games for Learning

He tākaro, he huarahi ako

Why attend?

Not sure yet? Here are just a few of our most compelling reasons to attend!

Games are the past, present, and future of learning!

Games are one of the most ancient ways people, especially children, learned. Games exist in every culture, and they’ve been around much longer than schools. Games have the power to engage people’s hearts, minds, and bodies, so why wouldn’t we use them to support better, richer, and deeper learning?  Games are also the present of learning. (If you don’t believe this, please find the nearest young person and ask them what they have learned from games. That’s what we’ve been doing). It follows that games are also the future of learning. If you want to stay relevant and be part of that future, this is the conference for you.


Diverse and relevant themes

The programme brings together a diverse and talented range of speakers and facilitators who will offer a broad range of perspectives on the power of games and game design to support learning, language, culture, identity, and pathways for young people to a better future. From ancient to contemporary, from digital to non-digital, and from play to design, we’ve got it covered. Your biggest challenge will be deciding which sessions to attend!


International and local talent and people with passion

This is a rare opportunity to connect with some of the best international and local talent available when it comes to games for learning, equity, and social impact. From classroom teachers to respected international researchers and game developers, you’ll hear from people who are at the top of their game (pun intended) with respect to games for learning. You’d be hard pressed to find a group of people who are more excited to share their knowledge, experience, and passion than this bunch. Enough to kickstart even a zombie’s cold dead heart!


Wondering about the upcoming changes to digital technologies in
The New Zealand Curriculum?

If you suspect games might fit right into the digital technologies part of The New Zealand Curriculum then you’re completely on the money, honey. We’ll address the strong fit between games, game design, and the intentions of the new strand of the technology learning area in The New Zealand Curriculum.


Did someone mention The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa?

Why yes, we did. This conference will help you to see how and why games for learning connects with every single page of The New Zealand Curriculum, from the vision and values to the key competencies and each of the learning areas, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.  Whether you are a subject specialist, a general classroom teacher, or not currently working in the education sector, you’ll come away with a fresh view of the curricula that underpin learning and teaching in our schools and kura and see how you can tap into the power of games to realise the intentions of these visionary documents.


Meet people you will spark with in unexpected ways

This conference isn’t just a bunch of people talking at you. If you’re an educator or educational policymaker, you’ll have the chance to mix and mingle with game developers, social entrepreneurs, and all sorts of game-using and game-curious people. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk, play, and network with each other.


It’s all about the conversations you’ll have - and these matter

The conference is designed around three really big questions:

  • How can game-based learning support the development of confident, connected, creative, and digitally fluent learners?​​

  • How can game-based learning enhance equity of educational opportunities and improve the experiences of all learners in Aotearoa New Zealand?

  • How can game-based learning support young people on pathways to further learning, satisfying work, and a decent future?

These questions will form the basis for an ongoing conversation across the conference. Everyone - including the speakers, facilitators, and you - will be what drives this conversation forward. We need you as much as you need to be at this conference!


It’s about building community and crossing paths with each other

Game-curious educators benefit enormously from having a community of people to share ideas, practices, and questions, but it’s not always easy to find game-curious colleagues in your own school. Also, some of the greatest things to ever happen in games for learning happened because educators and game developers got together and said “something is broken in education: there has to be a better way”. If you’re an educator, how extensive are your networks in the game development sector? If you’re a game developer, when’s the last time you spent a day in a school classroom? If you’re a policymaker, when’s the last time you let yourself play a videogame? All these things will be possible because we’re designing the conference to do exactly that.

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