Dr. Barnes is a postdoctoral researcher and part-time faculty in the Northeastern University Game Design program. She has designed, implemented, and analyzed educational games within many learning contexts, with an emphasis in designing consequential feedback in immersive games. She’s currently working with Drs. Harteveld and Smith on the redesign of a computational thinking puzzle game called GrACE and, in collaboration with TERC, the design of a climate science curriculum using game design in Scratch.
Her research aims to explore the nature of player experiences in educational games, and specifically, understanding the perceptions and goals of players in relation to game design affordances. Drawing from her dissertation on the diversity of user experiences in an educational game, Dr. Barnes wants to further investigate how specific affordances of educational games signal “school” or “game” to players within a classroom and how that perception impacts game interactions and learning. Further, she wants to understand how perception of the task as school or game interplays with a players’ previous attunement to and self perception related to those ecologies to result in particular outcomes.