What problems are best solved by games? Aside, of course, from having nothing else to do.
Games put students in real-like (but lower risk) situations where they have the opportunity to adopt a profile (it maybe a professional in the field, or other of the student’s choice), play roles, test hypothesis, apply learning, analyze situations, solve problems and reflect on the situation, the response and the actions.
Meaningful learning involves active (direct) learning, use of prior knowledge to build upon, and rewards.
Two things in games that I believe are motivators, and differ from regular traditional assignments: One is students’ involvement in choice of path (active participation) , and the other is feedback (rewards) .
In games students have to make choices and understand the consequences, as opposed to regular assignments where the choice was made for them, and they have to comply. Also games provide constant feedback, reassuring how the student is doing, while in regular assignments, feedback takes longer and does not provide second chances or a move to a higher level as games do.
Hi everyone. I sent the following to Jijun as a basic game concept. Basically, it’s Bourdieu’s “Field of Cultural Production,” the role-playing game. I have more detailed descriptions, if anyone’s interested. The basic game structure could be modified to any historical period, and it could be a fun way to teach historical context. If any of you would like to be part of a group on this, drop me a line. I am based here at SC, and have already spent some time talking it through with JJ and Jijun, who both seemed to think it up their alley.
“I need a team to put together a working prototype of a game, tentatively titled “Letters of the Republic.” LoR will be a cross between a turn-based strategy game, like Civilization, and a social simulation game, like Sims. It will be set in seventeenth-century England, and players will play in one of a number of possible roles–playwright, theatre manager, courtier, or actor–to compete for money, prestige, and literary fame. I have a strong sense of how the basic game play should function. The most challenging element for your student team would be to develop a strong AI for the non-player characters. I am ready to begin drafting the preliminary documentation immediately, and could share a more detailed draft upon request. I’d also be happy to meet with your students in person.”
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