James Gee, educational theorist, to lecture on video games and learning on April 2, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-James Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University, will give the lecture "Video Games and 21st Century Learning" on Thursday, April 2, in the Spitzer Auditorium of Sanders Classroom (room 212). His presentation will begin at 5:30pm is free and open to the public.

Teenagers "are writing fan fiction, blogging, designing clothes" on the Web, said Gee to the Washington Post in January 2009. "They can become an expert in anything by learning on the Internet, and they can find a community to support it." In an October 2008 New York Times article, he also argued that games teach critical thinking skills and a sense of responsibility.

Gee's recent books explore the same issue. What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, which was published in 2003, offers reasons why good videogames produce better learning conditions than many of today's schools. Situated Language and Learning, from 2004, similarly explores how videogames can help better understand human learning and think about school reform. In the same way, his 2005 book, Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul, shows how some videogames can combine pleasure and learning and empower people.

Gee was born in San Jose, California. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and both his master's and doctorate degrees in linguistics from Stanford University.

This lecture is sponsored by the Vassar Media Studies, Cognitive Science, and Science, Technology, and Society Programs; and the Computer Science, and Anthropology Departments.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, March 10, 2009