Title

From Age of Empires to Zork: Using Games in the Classroom

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-12-2008

Department

Library & Information Services

Language

English

Publication Title

Academic Commons

Abstract

With the remarkable growth in the gaming industry in recent years, educators have begun looking at games as a way of reaching students in this new digital world. While games have certainly been the target of criticism and even vilification in the popular media, many do possess qualities beneficial to education, such as the presentation of scenarios, problem solving, collaboration, and metrics. Among the early researchers of game pedagogy is James Paul Gee, professor of reading at the University of Wisconsin. Gee sees games as models for sound pedagogical practice. To convince consumers to pay for the privilege of learning the often complex rules, scenarios, and interactions within their games, Gee argues, game manufacturers have had to become expert teachers. In the game Rise of Nations for example, where players learn how to govern an empire through a combination of tutorials and game design, Gee sees valuable devices at work, including:

  • Just in time learning--the player is introduced to rules and concepts as needed
  • Self-paced learning
  • Motivation of players to push the boundaries of their own knowledge and skills
  • Use of different forms (visual, oral, and text) for redundant information

Comments

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