The UMass Amherst Department of Anthropology will be hosting “#AnthropologyConUMass17” on Thursday, December 14 from 6-9 pm in Machmer Hall E24. Student game design teams will pitch and playtest tabletop board, card, and digital games representing a range of topics studied by anthropologists:

  • fair trade coffee certification
  • traditional ecological knowledge and climate change
  • learning disabilities
  • human-primate relationships
  • refugee resettlement
  • disaster response and recovery

Anthropologists have a little-known history of designing games to teach and communicate anthropological ideas, from Bateson and Mead’s “Democracies and Dictators” (1940) to Tsing and Pollman’s “Global Futures” (2005). Student game designers build upon this tradition to create games that model and explore themes in social, behavioral, and cultural theory such as play, cooperation, symbols, power, evolution and change. Pizza and snacks will be served–please come out and play! For more information, contact <>.

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