James Portnow is an internationally-known game designer (such as his work with "FarmVille"). He holds a professorship at Digipen, and runs a game design consulting firm and the website, Extra Credits. He's been cited by the New York Times, CNN, Forbes, USA Today, Microsoft, and numerous others for his views on the social and political aspects of games and for his launch of the "games for good" movement.
On Friday, December 6, Portnow will visit Pennsylvania College of Art & Design to work with students in PCA&D's senior-level gaming classes and will present a public artist talk from 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Portnow is the leading advocate for the "games for good" movement, in which the positive learning aspects of many video games are emphasized and proactively promoted.
On the Rockethub fundraising campaign, he writes that "It's time we talk about all the things games can do for us as a scientific, cultural, artistic and educational medium instead. It's better for society, it's better for creators and it's better for players."
And on the Digipen site, where Portnow is a faculty member, he writes that “In the past we’ve only ever thought about reporting for bad behavior or misconduct,” Portnow says. “Reporting for positive behavior, incentivizing positive behavior, is something that we hadn’t done until very recently.”
But to do that, he asserts, we need to open up communication between people in the games industry and those who help shape the laws around it. We also need to facilitate that more "games for good" are made.
Before visiting PCA&D, Portnow will have spent a day with middle school students in the Hempfield school district (Lancaster County).