The Complex Play Lab is a research lab homed in the Design, Informal, and Creative Education program in the Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction at UW–Madison. It is affiliated with the Computer Sciences Dept., the UW Game Lab, the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies, the Learning Sciences program in the Educational Psychology Dept., the iSchool, and the STEP Lab at MIT.
A major goal of the CPL is to support minoritized and under-served students in learning to create with technology so that their voices and values can be amplified.
We and our projects:
- Center cultural relevance in design through participatory design.
- Center students’ media identities and values – e.g., music production, games, and urban gardening.
- Structure projects about creativity in context rather than a deficit model of education.
- Counter one-size-fits-all commodified summative assessment in education as a dehumanizing and racist.
- Locate in public schools systems and voluntary spaces (such as public libraries) that support minoritized learners.
That said, we have so much more to do. Black lives matter, and combating racism is an ongoing, daily process. In the coming year, we are committed to:
- Hiring and admitting more minoritized students/staff.
- Taking on new games projects that focus on supporting minoritized students’ creative work vis-a-vis commodified policing and imprisonment.
- Expanding the scope of our work with participatory design – including more voices in our design.
- Expanding our work in and towards anti-racist assessment.
- Having ongoing discussions in every lab meeting about how we are doing to combat injustice.
- Inviting speakers to lab talks who might help us better understand how to make our work more effectively anti-racist.
- Develop resources for both activists and scholars that contribute to anti-racist work