Session on Video Games

This article is being moblogged, so please forgive typos and awkward wording

I just walking into a session on video games, a few mintues late. The presenter, Jared Seay, just showed a commercial of a video game that allows you select your own military leader and fight wars in history. He is including information about research in video game learning. He has mentioned specifically the new James Paul Gee book (maybe it isn’t new).

Check out Gee’s 36 learning principals that are built into good games. This seems to be important and it plugs into what I’ve talked about, getting down to the video game experience, and figuring out what makes the game play such a powerful learning experience. The presenter is also talking about how the plots of tv shows are going much deeper, with multiple plots and sub plots. He’s making the connection with the Flinn affect, where our general intellegence is increasting. He (the presenter) suggests that our children’s entertainment experience is preparing them better for the types of things that IQ tests measure.

He’s now talking about Prensky’s difference between digital natives and immigrants

Play is work, and work is play!

How about helping students learn, by asking them to make games.

Here’s a new accornym — COTS — Commercial Off-The-Shelf games. He mentions Age of Empires, Civilization, Sim City, and Law & Order CSI. He also mentions Cruise Ship Typcoon, Roller Coaster Tycoon as examples of games where it’s the game play that is educational, not the content of the game. Making History is evidently the holy grail of the educational video gaming product (http://making-history.com/). I’ll have to take a look at that. This game covers much of the 20th century. Students work, representing a country, and trying to stay in power. I wonder about asking students to do something like this for homework. Then, you teach history, in class, in the same old way, but bring in student comments on various aspects of the history as they apply to the student’s country. The student becomes the expert.

Rather than embedding the game in the learning,
We should embed learning in the game.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.