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The Learning Effects from Global Conflicts: Palestine 6. October 2006, Athens Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen Assistant Professor ITU Copenhagen Tasha Buch Research assistant ITU Copenhagen
Agenda What is a serious game? What is Global Conflicts: Palestine? What do other people think?
What is a serious game? Definition serious games In principal, any game Games with an agenda Educating, enlightening.. Not only entertaining • Edutainment • Advertainment • Business games • Military games • Political games • Satirical games
What is a serious game? Problems with edutainment Little intrinsic motivation: Extrinsic motivation through rewards, rather than intrinsic motivation. No integrated learning experience: Lacks integration of the learning experience with playing experience - learning subordinated play experience. Drill-and-practice learning principles: Rely on drill-and-practice rather than understanding – training above learning. No teacher presence: No demands on teachers or parents. Simple gameplay: Built on a simple gameplay from classic titles. Small budgets: Produced on limited budgets with limited technology.
What is a serious game? Edutainment lacks balance Most of what goes under the name "edutainment" reminds me of George Bernard Shaw's response to a famous beauty who speculated on the marvelous child they could have together: "With your brains and my looks ..." He retorted, "But what if the child had my looks and your brains?" (Papert, 1998: 88)
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine Vision Create the world’s best computer games with an agenda beyond entertainment
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine The game Global Conflict : Feel and understand the tense atmosphere and problems in Palestine You as freelance journalist will draft a way out of the conflict
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine Target groups • Private market: People that are intellectual curious & not afraid to try new things. • Educational market: 13-19 years social studies in Western world
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine Play trailer “I learned more history in one day than the last 6 months” Student, 16 years
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine Gameplay You Goal Means Winning Freelance journalist Get the best article Find informants Gain their trust Get their story Dig out best quotes Put together article Highest journalist level
What is Global Conflicts: Palestine What problems did we try to solve • Perspective: Provide different perspectives on a topic • Involvement: Provide involvement in a topic • Engagement: Make the player feel they make a difference • Realism & atmosphere: Develop realistic atmosphere • Curriculum ties: Fit it in with some curriculum
Empirical study? Setup Sample: 51 Danish High school low-middle class students (16-20 years) after a one-week course Survey Video observation Interviews Test & evaluation Traditional lecturing 4 weeks on theme Play missions 2 students (note taking) Group discussion 4 students (Poster w. timeline) Plenum discussion all students
Empirical study? Qualitative feedback “Global Conflicts: Palestine is a fun and different way to receive learning” (Female student, 18 years) “You had a greater desire to learn about the topic from Global Conflicts: Palestine” (Male student, 16 years) ”You learn a lot about how Israelis and Palestinians respectively look at the conflict, because you talk to different persons... I think it is good that the stories derive from reality, providing the stories with a realistic tone.” (Female student, 18 years)
Empirical study? Students want more... • 90% students find it the be an interesting course • 88% Students find it to be an interesting educational material • 59 % of students find they learned more • 90% of students wants to try a similar course again
Reflective observation Group work Lecture Abstract concepts Concrete experiences GC: Palestine Active experimentation Empirical study? Different rooms for learning styles • Kolb’s cycle covered with different teaching forms in the course. • The teacher is crucial to facilitate a full learning experience.
Closing • Engaging & intellectual stimulating game are possible • A lot of people are looking for new games • Like any other media computer games have a critical potential • A strong market for serious games is still years away • Distribution and financing remains a challenge