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Games and learning. Chris Crawford and dawn of computer games implications for learning games. Chris Crawford Art of Computer Game Design. taxonomy – primary concern board game – geometric relationships card game – combinatorics, probability athletic game – body skills

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Games and learning

Chris Crawford and dawn of computer games implications for learning games

COSC 4126 Games in learning


Chris crawford art of computer game design l.jpg
Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • taxonomy – primary concern

    • board game – geometric relationships

    • card game – combinatorics, probability

    • athletic game – body skills

    • children’s game – social skills

    • computer game

      • skill and action – hand-eye coordination

      • fantasy, adventure, war – no ‘primary concern’ stated

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • common factors: representation

    • formal – explicit rules

    • system – closed, interaction

    • subjective reality – symbolic meaning

    • stylized attributes – not ‘faithful to reality’ c/w simulation

    • “subset of reality” important attributes

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • representation

    “A game creates a subjective and deliberately simplified reality. A game is not an objectively accurate representation of reality; objective accuracy is only necessary to the extent required to support the player’s fantasy. The player’s fantasy is the key agent in making the gaem psychologically real.

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • interaction

    • sculpture, painting – snapshot of reality

    • movie, dance – changing reality

    • interactive (game) –how reality changes – control to explore cause and effect

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • interaction

    • game is not a puzzle – reacts to player action

    • game is not a story – multiple possible paths

    • games are not toys – rules included

      manipulability by player

      puzzle/story game toy

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • interaction

    • ‘a game opponent reacts to player’s actions, and presents different challenges each game’ (c/w puzzle against designer, once only)

    • ‘computer games seldom provide a human opponent, and so they lack the social element that other games offer.’ !!!!!!!

    • “gaminess” – richness of player interaction

      blackjack bridge football

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • conflict

    • essential element

      “Conflict is an element of all games. It can be direct or indirect, violent or non-violent, but it is always present in every game.”

    • cooperative games

    • cooperation within a team in team’s conflict

    • is challenge conflict? Myst, URU? Sims

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • conflict and safety

    • “a game is an artifice for providing the psychological experiences of conflict and danger while excluding their physical realizations.”

    • dissociate action from real consequence

      …just like education ;-\

    • gambling – consequences are real

      • poker – consequences are part of game

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • strategy

    • adventures

    • D&D

    • wargames

    • games of chance

    • educational and children’s

    • interpersonal

  • computer games

    • skill-and-action

      • combat

      • maze

      • sports

      • paddle

      • race

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some PET games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some PET games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some PET games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some PET games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Some PET games (circa 1980)

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Chris CrawfordArt of Computer Game Design

  • strategy

    • adventures

    • D&D

    • wargames

    • games of chance

    • educational and children’s

    • interpersonal

  • computer games

    • skill-and-action

      • combat

      • maze

      • sports

      • paddle

      • race

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Combat games

  • variations based on geometry plus weaponry

  • opponents – number, capability

  • 1st person, 3rd person views

  • speed, strategy

  • outer space

COSC 4126 Games in learning



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Maze games

  • branching structures – lots of complex play with simple structure

  • pacman – opponent makes games real time

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Sports games

  • “.., sports games remain the wallflowers of computer gaming. I suspect that sports games will not attract a great deal of design attention in the future. Now that computer games have an accepted identity of their own, the need for recognizable game titles has diminished.”

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Paddle games

  • pong

  • breakout

    “although I doubt that it has much development potential remaining, I hesitate to pronounce such a durable old system dead.”

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Race games

  • “no real interaction in a race between a player and his opponent.”

  • developments since 1982…

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Strategy games:Adventure games

  • text adventures

    • data driven

    • language interface

  • expanded graphics and SIZE

  • Myst, URU

    “closer to puzzles than games”

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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D&D and war games

  • role playing table games

  • computerized for ‘dungeonmaster’ role (referee)

  • combined with adventure games

  • graphics

  • precursor of FPS games

COSC 4126 Games in learning



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Games of chance

  • computer as ‘house’

  • other players

  • on-line casinos

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Educational games

  • “simple games that have some educational value”

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Electronic Arts – Bill Budge

  • Pinball Construction Set (PCS) is a video game by Bill Budge published by Electronic Arts. It was released for the Apple II and Atari 800 in 1983 and was later ported to other platforms, such as the Commodore 64 and PC Clone. With PCS, users could construct their own virtual pinballarcade machine and customize many of its aspects. PCS created a new genre of computer games—the "builder" or "construction set" class of games. With PCS, users could drag and drop controls onto their virtual pinball table. Controls included bumpers, flippers, spinners and other standard pinball paraphernalia. Attributes such as gravity and the physics model could also be modified. The user could save his creation and develop custom artwork to go along with it. Tables could be saved on floppy disks and traded with friends.

  • Pinball Construction Set is still recognized as one of the most important games in video game history.

  • http://www.fact-index.com/p/pi/pinball_construction_set.html

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Pinball Construction Set

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Pinball Construction Set

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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Pinball Construction Set

  • build and play

    • sim game

    • player/developer

    • concept learning – gravity, viscosity

COSC 4126 Games in learning


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