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Game-Based Learning:A Different Perspective Karl Royle University of Wolverhampton School of Education
Why games don’t fit Caillois (2001) outlined six formal qualities of games: ·Freedom ·Separateness (from events outside the rules) ·Uncertainty of outcome ·Non productiveness ·Governed by rules ·Make believe (not real)
Immersiveness • Indeterminate completion time • Tendency towards complexity • None of these features • appear to offer any compelling support • for the use of video games as educational tools.
Because games don’t fit we change them • Edutainment • Serious games • COTS • Mods Teacherization!
So what can we do to put education into games? How can one build a game that both engages students in relevant learning and entertains enough that gamers want to play outside of school? Such a game would combine sound pedagogy with superior entertainment value, seamlessly integrating learning into the world of the game. Sound pedagogies…problem based, situated practice, social constructivism…reflective practice…etc Give players tools and information enough to make and execute a plan in response to problems you set up. In the end, that's what gaming is all about. Waqrren Spector (Saltzman 2000, 64)
Constituents of the killer application Games engage players on three main fronts: The structure of the game provides motivation and the urge to solve problems for the problem's sake alone. The backstory or narrative provides the believability or authenticity of engagement. Characterization makes the player's role in the narrative believable so that the player can engage fully in the game.
Use Authentic Content in a Believable Setting “The purpose of a video game is not to simulate real life, but to offer the gift of playing a game” (Poole 2000, 214).
Puzzles or Obstacles and their Cheats Should Be Linked to Authentic Content Combination inventory puzzles Language based puzzles Environment puzzles Strategy based puzzles All need to provoke a need for further information
Different Ways of Presenting Information Should Be Used to Maximize Literacy Audio to text Clues to problem solve Speech/text Team selection
"Cheating" Should Be Both Intrinsic and Extrinsic to the Game • Internal cheats • External cheats and independent learning strategies • Each problem or decision point should come with further knowledge offered within a just-in-time framework, thus mirroring the world of project-based work.
Opportunities to Promote Storytelling Should Be Maximized in the Game Design Post game storytelling can develop reflective practice, analysis, and evaluation, all essential high-level skills in today's information-based society.
Players Should Be Able to fully Customize their Characters Guiding players through the principles of character development can be a great learning tool that also adds to gameplay. A design brief for different characters specifying personality traits and attributes such as voice, accent, catchphrase, appearance, motivation habits, and other elements will help build believability, bringing the game to life.
So what can we do? Design the games- use mods and existing engines.
So what else can we do? Use game technology to produce ‘game like’ training/educational solutions.
What more? Research into what games do in terms of thinking skills and literacy development. Vision: a taxonomy that can be used to rate video games
And finally Transfer Thinking skills > Communities of practice> Authentic experience