Event Recaps | 1 March 2016

Questions that Matter – Play: Games, Life, and Death


On March 1st, 2016, UC Santa Cruz faculty asked the community to join them for a conversation about violence and video games. Over the past decade, the revolution in gaming has created new communities, identities, and careers. Games can now help detect early dementia, reduce pain felt by burn victims, and may help speed healing from concussions. They also have many of us obsessed with playing them, providing countless hours of entertainment for both kids and adults alike. What is gained and what is lost as a result of the current “gamification” of life? Is play mostly about having fun or does it also have a higher purpose? How are games shaping the future and what it means to be human? This discussion featured Kimberly Lau, Professor of Literature at UCSC, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Professor of Computational Media at UCSC, and Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor of History and Director of The Humanities Institute.

Scott Rappaport covered Questions That Matter for UC Santa Cruz News.

You can also stay engaged by watching our video of the event below.

The Questions That Matter Series is a public humanities series developed by UCSC Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) and the community of Santa Cruz – bringing together in conversation two or more UC Santa Cruz scholars with community residents and students to explore questions that matter to all of us. The series is a part of a strategic initiative of the IHR to champion the role and value of the humanities in contemporary life. At the University of California Santa Cruz, we understand that the humanities are a crucial element of any first-rate liberal arts education. Indeed, what distinguishes the best universities in the United States is the fact that the humanities are an integral part of their core curriculum, along with the arts and sciences. The series is designed as a lecture and conversation, with plenty of time built in for participant questions and answers.