Colleen Macklin

Colleen Macklin is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons School of Design at the New School and coauthor (with John Sharp) of Games, Design, and Play: A Detailed Approach to Iterative Game Design. Sharp and Macklin are Codirectors of the PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab) at Parsons.

  • Iterate

    Iterate

    Ten Lessons in Design and Failure

    John Sharp and Colleen Macklin

    How to confront, embrace, and learn from the unavoidable failures of creative practice; with case studies that range from winemaking to animation.

    Failure is an inevitable part of any creative practice. As game designers, John Sharp and Colleen Macklin have grappled with crises of creativity, false starts, and bad outcomes. Their tool for coping with the many varieties of failure: iteration, the cyclical process of conceptualizing, prototyping, testing, and evaluating. Sharp and Macklin have found that failure—often hidden, covered up, a source of embarrassment—is the secret ingredient of iterative creative process. In Iterate, they explain how to fail better.

    After laying out the four components of creative practice—intention, outcome, process, and evaluation—Sharp and Macklin describe iterative methods from a wide variety of fields. They show, for example, how Radiolab cohosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich experiment with radio as a storytelling medium; how professional skateboarder Amelia Bródka develops skateboarding tricks through trial and error; and how artistic polymath Miranda July explores human frailty through a variety of media and techniques. Whimsical illustrations tell parallel stories of iteration, as hard-working cartoon figures bake cupcakes, experiment with levitating office chairs, and think outside the box in toothbrush design (“let's add propellers!”). All, in their various ways, use iteration to transform failure into creative outcomes. With Iterate, Sharp and Macklin offer useful lessons for anyone interested in the creative process.

    Case Studies: Allison Tauziet, winemaker; Matthew Maloney, animator; Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, Radiolab cohosts; Wylie Dufresne, chef; Nathalie Pozzi, architect, and Eric Zimmerman, game designer; Andy Milne, jazz musician; Amelia Bródka, skateboarder; Baratunde Thurston, comedian; Cas Holman, toy designer; Miranda July, writer and filmmaker

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00

Contributor

  • Resonant Games

    Resonant Games

    Design Principles for Learning Games that Connect Hearts, Minds, and the Everyday

    Eric Klopfer, Jason Haas, Scot Osterweil, and Louisa Rosenheck

    Principles for designing educational games that integrate content and play and create learning experiences connecting to many areas of learners' lives.

    Too often educational videogames are narrowly focused on specific learning outcomes dictated by school curricula and fail to engage young learners. This book suggests another approach, offering a guide to designing games that integrates content and play and creates learning experiences that connect to many areas of learners' lives. These games are not gamified workbooks but are embedded in a long-form experience of exploration, discovery, and collaboration that takes into consideration the learning environment. Resonant Games describes twenty essential principles for designing games that offer this kind of deeper learning experience, presenting them in connection with five games or collections of games developed at MIT's educational game research lab, the Education Arcade.

    Each of the games—which range from Vanished, an alternate reality game for middle schoolers promoting STEM careers, to Ubiquitous Bio, a series of casual mobile games for high school biology students—has a different story, but all spring from these fundamental assumptions: honor the whole learner, as a full human being, not an empty vessel awaiting a fill-up; honor the sociality of learning and play; honor a deep connection between the content and the game; and honor the learning context—most often the public school classroom, but also beyond the classroom.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00