Monthly Archives: November 2012
Matt Johnston wrote about a Professor who affirms the power of video games.
“Johnny Nhan, an assistant professor of criminal justice and a part-time gamer, said that depending on the game being played, playing video games could be good. ”
To read the whole article click here.
- Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games (lugenfamilyoffice.com)
Does your surgeon play Halo? Perhaps she should!
“Researchers have found that high school and college-age gamers are better virtual surgeons than medical residents. Scientists from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston had a hunch that students with a regular video game diet (high school sophomores who played two hours of games a day and college students who played four) would be primed for virtual surgery tools. They were right. When performance with those tools was measured, the game-playing students did better than a group of residents at UTMB.”
To read the full article by Colin Lecher click here.
2012 Winner of the The Penny Arcade Scholarship
David Doyle, University of Tennessee – School of Journalism
High school and College students really can earn real money for their College education through games! Here is the list.
The Penny Arcade Scholarship $10,000
The Evo College Scholarship, – two $10,000 scholarship awards as well as a $500 creative grant.
The Twitch & Alienware Scholarship Program five $10,000 scholarship
The Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program –$10,000 award and an optional 10-week paid internship at one of SOE’s studios.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awards four $2,500 scholarships each year.
To read more about the winners and details about these scholarships read the article by Matt Konrad by clicking here.
“Khan said that when he began to make his videos public, he expected that they would attract only the highly self-motivated learners. What he found, though, is that it’s become popular with a wide variety of students, from high achievers to students who are on the verge of failing their classes. On the surface, the skill trees are a type of extrinsic reward, and there’s incentive to keep watching videos and taking assessment tests just to see the next box fill in on your tree. But at the same time, users are intrinsically drawn to the site, and their primary motivation for using Khan Academy is actually the method of instruction itself. Millions of people have viewed the videos, and as the staff continues to translate the tutorials, even more people will be able to access the content on the site.”
Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, told an audience of gaming and animation professionals and students; “…one of our single biggest challenges in education over the next few years, for the government – and I mean the state, not just in a political sense – whose educational processes are built around the industrial revolution to provide an environment where young New Zealanders’, whose minds are being trained by you, are able to learn a broader set of skills,” He was speaking at the seventh annual creative digital industries symposium Animfx in Wellington.
Slowly but surly, more politicians are affirming the power of games in engagement and learning.
To read the full article by Jazial Crossley click Here.
Great article! I recognized most of the scholars on the list and I look forward to learning more about those I did not recognize.
Here they are in no particular order:
Kurt Squire, Sara de Frietas, James Paul Gee, Marc Prensky,Eric Zimmerman,Katie Salen,
Some of the best and brightest minds in engineering, education, sociology, and computer science have been analyzing how to build, improve, and understand games for several decades. Their research has helped to yield games that are more effective (not to mention fun) than ever and that reflect our changing relationship with technology. Our friends at Online Universities have compiled a list of greatest gaming scholars, maybe you can provide your suggestion to make it more complete. (this list isn’t in any specific sequence)
Kurt Squire is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Curriculum and Instruction and is the co-founder of the Games, Learning & Society Initiative, an on-campus group of faculty and students studying game-based learning. He has written over 75 scholarly publications on gaming in education, often addressing the sociocultural aspects of gaming and the impact of gaming practices…
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Jan Gejel describes some of the opportunities and challenges for educational games in an article entitled “You Got Game! Learning Games and Games in Learning” for the International Conference The Future of Education. Gejel is the European project manager at Aarhus Social and Healthcare College in Denmark. This article explores important questions related to the future of games in education, particularly; why there are not more of these games, how will these games be paid for, and how might young developers and educational institutions work together. This article is helpful for understanding the serious gaming context in Europe, in general, and Scandinavia, in particular.
Here are some highlights (to read the full article following the link at the end).
“In Europe the interest in learning games emerged in the beginning of the last decade. Again, the interest in games was a result of the increasing interest in technology in education: internet, software, e-learning, etc. Nevertheless, the explosion of the video games market did not at all result in the creation of games for education, of learning games. Still in 2012 very few quality learning games have been developed in Europe and the worlds of video games and education are still not in any kind of dialogue – apart from very few exceptions.”
“The video game market of entertainment games has grown at an incredible speed throughout the last decades, now worth the double of the film industry.”
“. . . now researchers and game developers are discussing what learning potentials are included in the very activity of gaming itself, and thus in the very design of video games, serious or commercial. It is being debated that the very design of computer games, no matter the content, represents a very powerful learning process, due to the basic design elements in video games. The focus is thus shifted from the entertaining form of video games to the learning potentials of the gaming itself. This shift caused a tremendous upswing in the interest in learning games and for the first time in Europe educational players joined the discussions and they showed a serious interest in games for education.”
“Dramatic different business models must be developed, if education should exploit the learning potentials of gaming. Real encounters between the game world and the educational world must be organized, on an ongoing basis, through which (young) game developers and teachers and institutions can meet and develop mutual platforms of collaboration.”
To read the full article, by Jan Gejel, click Here.
Tadhg Kelly wrote a very compelling article on the limits of the persuasive power of games for TechCrunch. Here are a few parts that I found particularly insightful.
“The root of the persuasive-game idea is that interactivity is better than passivity, and so by encouraging users to do stuff you likely imprint them with an idea more successfully. Largely this is assumed to be true because it sounds very positive on the one hand, and something that could be profitable on the other. The educational and computer-based training sectors rest upon it, as do the emerging fields of socially conscious games.”
Kelly is not so convince of this. He goes on to write;
“Of course games can educate. Monopoly accidentally teaches its players about ideas like property rental, ownership, rates and income taxes. You don’t really realise it, but years later these ideas turn out to be useful. Scrabble teaches spelling and vocabulary without ever making a big deal of it. It’s just the skill you need to win the game . . . The Settlers of Catan expands your understanding of resource management. Risk teaches geography (every Risk player knows that there’s a place in Asia named Kamchatka).”
Regardless of whether it is “accidental” or not learning takes place when people play games. Kelly goes on to make several excellent observations about how games that are too preachy, commercial, or just badly designed are not persuasive. This is all true of course, but the right solution is to design better games.
Read the full article by Tadhg Kelly on TechCrunch by clicking here
More than 100 Million children have no access to schooling, so the One Laptop Per Child organization is experimenting with a new way to help them learn by;
“simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens. The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.”
“Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. ‘I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,’ Negroponte said. ‘Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.'”