Educators take serious look at video gaming

In today’s release of eSchool Online, an article titled Educators take serious look at video gaming which reports on the recent Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Summit on Video Gaming held on 25 October this year.

At the summit, attended by a diverse group including those from education, entertainment and the military, experts in pedagogy and game design began the conference by discussing specific attributes of video games that lend themselves to learning applications and went on to examine areas of knowledge and skill development to which game features could be applied.

Key points/quotes in the article that I found of interest include:

  • decision environments provided in gaming are great training for all sorts of high-performance teams
  • Though gaming provides a good medium for instruction, good instruction must transcend the game
  • the decision-making experience will be most engaging if it takes place in a world with a strong, familiar, authentic story
  • Educators need tools and standards to create games quickly at low cost

It was also pleasing to note that the conference didn’t only focus on the hype and positive attributes of games – the negative effects of games were also considered, with questions raised about games that reinforce gender and cultural biases for instance. There’s a whole research agenda to be followed here.

The eSchool article continues with a report on another conference titled “Be The game”, held jointly by two American High Schools – McKinley High and Ballou Senior High. This was a weekend program for middle and high school students to learn game programming by creating pedagogical games for use by primary school student held earlier this month. In this part of the article there are some really useful descriptions of some of the games being used – as well as some insights into the sorts of resourcing and organisation involved in the high schools themselves.

The FAS also has a useful list of links to Games for Learning Resources on its website for further reading in this area.

See also Serious Games Summit held in Washington D.C on 31 Oct-1Nov.

Leave a Reply