Meet Sam – PLA member profile

Each month we will introduce a PLA member through 5 photos telling their Playful Learning journey.

Samantha Clarke, Research Assistant, Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University

Photo of Sam Clarke in a monster mask
I started off working in the entertainment computer games industry, but realised quite quickly that I wanted to create games which could create purposeful impact In health education , so moved over into academia. I’m also an er *cough cough* ex-WOW player, which should tell you all you need to know.
Screenshot of computer game introduction screen for sexual health game.
The first real game I developed when I got into academia was a sexual health game called PRE:PARe. It was bad. Very bad. But I learnt a lot from this first project about differences and complexities of game dev. It was my most successful failure.
Photo of a Dungeons and Dragons board with fallen pieces and a many sided dice.
One of the most useful things that I have learnt, is to experience lots of different types of games. I used to be very much in the mindset that it was computer games all the way for me. Now, thanks to persistent friends, I love to play D&D, MTG and board games which I try to use as inspiration. I have yet to fully succumb to LARP but it’s next on the list.
Photo of a map with string lines across it next to a pair of scissors and ball of string.
I am also a sucker for anything mystery or curiosity related. Most of my recent research has been around how people react to curiosity in education. Truth be told I can’t resist a box… maybe I was a cat in a past life.
Photo of a colourful toy octopus on a desk with people and paperwork behind.
I feel grateful to the playful learning community as there is always someone there to inspire, advise or help when it is needed. Even in these uncertain times when everything is arse backwards, its comforting to know there is a little community spilling out awesomeness into the world.

Thanks for sharing your story and your photos Sam.

If you are unlucky, you might be selected as next month’s sacrifice chosen member – we will be in touch!