01 February 2018

Geek Culture and Games in the Classroom

What's wrong with your patient?
Do all the symptoms and signs point to one diagnosis?
Or are there multiple diseases at work?
Can you remember which symptoms indicate which diseases?

This is how the ad for Occam's Razor Card Game - or as the creator's term it, the study aid - introduces the deck of cards meant to challenge a player's diagnostic ability.

Nerdcore Medical created this game to enrich the learning process with game layers and visual design. We publish medical-themed study aids for students and practicing professionals, as well as gifts for a broader audience designed to raise awareness about public health.

According to their 'about us' page, this team of three medical students (or doctors?) created these games because of their interest in gaming, in fantasy, in "geek culture", and who are passionate about how people learn.

With the help of game-designer Brandon Patton (who also happens to be bass player for the Godfather of Nerdcore HipHip, MC Frontalot) the Nerdcore Medical team created 'game layers' to medical education.

This game follows in the footsteps of Idea Couture's Impact game about Foresight.

These objectives of these games are different from those of 'regular' board games in that their purpose is to teach or educate. The popularity of the BreakOut Edu in the grade and high school classrooms seems to have grown in the post-secondary world.

Take Wilfrid Laurier as an example: students can get a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Design in Game Design and Development. They describe the purpose of gamification and gameful design techniques as a means to motivate people to get engaged with the real world by adding a game-based layer.

The bloggers on this site could definitely see their next 'getting-up-to-no-good' project being a game for anthropology students detailing perhaps the anthropologists' toolkit, a history of anthropological thinkers and theorists, or perhaps, a game in a similar vein to Occam's Razor Card Game to help archaeologists engage with their field sites.

On another note: Was this your first time you're hearing the phrase Nerdcore? Urban dictionary defines this as Any form of music that is made by nerds, for nerds, or about nerdly things. Nerdcore can be made in any style of music, but most people identify it in either its pop-punk or hip-hop forms.

For more information about Geek Culture, you may want to head over to The Geek Anthropologist blog and check out the posts in their The Anthropology of Geek Culture category. We've written about the Geek Anthropologist before when we wrote about Jediism as Religion: Anthropology for a Changing World.

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