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CS3540 Dr. Brian Durney. by Justin Peters, June 27, 2007 “Never play a video game that’s trying to teach you something”

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Presentation on theme: "CS3540 Dr. Brian Durney. by Justin Peters, June 27, 2007 “Never play a video game that’s trying to teach you something”"— Presentation transcript:

1 CS3540 Dr. Brian Durney

2 by Justin Peters, June 27, 2007 “Never play a video game that’s trying to teach you something” Peters asks these “philosophical questions”: When does a game stop being a game and turn into an assignment? When does a game stop being a game and turn into an assignment? Can a game still be called a game if it isn't any fun? Can a game still be called a game if it isn't any fun?

3 “The training games that I tried are unsparingly, terrifyingly banal. Take Stone City, a game Persuasive wrote to train Cold Stone Creamery employees. You play a scoop jockey who has to customers' orders. At the end of the game, you're told just how much ice cream you wasted, and how much your poor performance will end up costing Cold Stone over the span of one year. The only fun to be had in Stone City comes from deliberately mishandling the orders. (At my Cold Stone franchise, everyone gets strawberry.)”

4 “The California-based company called Seriosity, for one, claims to be brainstorming a virtual work environment that mimics online worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft. "[T]oday's multiplayer games," the company explains, "embody tasks that are analogous to corporate work." Imagine: a virtual office, with virtual paper to be filed, virtual meetings to be dreaded, and virtual gossip to be shared over virtual coffee. I have seen the future, and it makes me want to go back to chisels and stone tablets, or at least get a job working construction. This is not fun. This. Is. Evil.” Justin Peters

5 “… the fundamental conceptual problem still remains: Animating mindless, boring repetition doesn't make the repetition any less mindless or boring. No sane Cold Stone employee will be fooled into thinking that Stone City is anything other than a soul- crushing training exercise.” Is there a better way to make educational games? Justin Peters Stay tuned… Meanwhile, we’ll look at a differing point of view.

6 by Lee Wilson, August 22, 2008 “many … perceived barriers to integrating video games into learning are ill-founded. In fact, there are a number of well-circulated myths that have reinforced widespread negative attitudes toward games”

7 Early edutainment games: animated flash cards Early edutainment games: animated flash cards Mavis Beacon typing, Math Blasters Mavis Beacon typing, Math Blasters “fairly rigid, linear, and reward answering a question quickly rather than thinking through complex problems” “fairly rigid, linear, and reward answering a question quickly rather than thinking through complex problems” Recent games Recent games “Players are challenged to tackle deeply nested problems, and there are multiple paths to success. Meanwhile, they're attuning themselves to the game's culture, the human social context.” “Players are challenged to tackle deeply nested problems, and there are multiple paths to success. Meanwhile, they're attuning themselves to the game's culture, the human social context.” Railroad Tycoon, Making History Railroad Tycoon, Making History

8 Simulates Europe just before World War II Simulates Europe just before World War II Reading, math, social studies Reading, math, social studies teamwork, initiative, creativity, problem solving, and leadership teamwork, initiative, creativity, problem solving, and leadership “Teachers have reported finding groups of students in the lunchroom arguing about the Potsdam Conference.”

9 “In the examples given above there is no right answer, only multiple paths to success, and there is as much to be learned from failure as from success. Most important, the games encourage students to use core academic skills in the pursuit of solving complex problems. Thinking deeply, not flicking buttons, is key.” Do you know of any games where this is true? Are they fun games? Can games like this be made for any educational topic?

10 Author mentions Grand Theft Auto, Postal “In fact, there have always been lots of video games that don't fit this profile.” Oregon Trail, Civilization, SimCity Oregon Trail, Civilization, SimCity Three games isn’t “a lot.” Do you know of other games that fit this category? Serious games: Serious games: Peacemaker, Food Force, ReDistricting Game, Quest Atlantis Peacemaker, Food Force, ReDistricting Game, Quest Atlantis WolfQuest WolfQuest

11 “A related concern is the perception that any game used in the classroom has to compete with the slick production values of commercial games. This too turns out to be false.” Redistricting Game

12 “Chocolate-covered broccoli” Poor game design will cripple any game, serious or commercial. Many of those creating educational games have not grounded themselves deeply enough in games and gaming culture to grasp what makes a great game.

13 It's also a myth that video games are all about instant gratification. The most popular video games of all time are actually extremely complex puzzles, and they succeed because deep and difficult learning is fun in itself (the Zelda series, Myst, and Prince of Persia by Nintendo, Cyan, and Ubisoft, respectively, are just a few examples). If “deep and difficult learning” is fun, why isn’t college like one big video game? Can entertainment games make use of this? (assuming that it’s true, of course)

14 This isn’t really an issue for us.

15 The author quotes a couple of studies, but in my opinion they aren’t particularly impressive.

16 “The basic issue here is that it's easier to make a fun game educational than it is to inject fun into an educational game. In his 2005 book, Everything Bad Is Good for You, Steven Johnson argues that games like The Sims and Grand Theft Auto make us smarter by training the mind in adaptive behavior and problem- solving. Most overtly educational software, though, ignores the complexities that make games riveting and enriching. The serious- gaming types think they can create educational software from whole cloth. In reality, they have a lot to learn from Grand Theft Auto.”

17 What makes a game fun? What makes a game educational?

18 Effort is proportional to commitment, and commitment in turn is proportional to both confidence in ability to succeed and impression of usefulness of what is to be learned or done. Effort is proportional to commitment, and commitment in turn is proportional to both confidence in ability to succeed and impression of usefulness of what is to be learned or done. Behavior changes only when it is occurring. People learn just the ability they practice, not a related ability. Behavior changes only when it is occurring. People learn just the ability they practice, not a related ability. Transfer of a learned ability from a school setting to real- life usage is proportional to the degree of identity between the practice conditions and the usage conditions. Transfer of a learned ability from a school setting to real- life usage is proportional to the degree of identity between the practice conditions and the usage conditions. Feedback is necessary for learning to occur. Feedback is necessary for learning to occur. Conceptual meaning cannot be transmitted from a teacher to a learner. Conceptual meaning cannot be transmitted from a teacher to a learner. From a 1979 presentation by C. Durney and D. Harris

19 Sensation Sensation Fantasy Fantasy Narrative Narrative Challenge Challenge I Have No Worlds & I Must Design, Greg Costikyan 2002

20 Maybe not. What about …? ? Or

21 EducationalEntertainment The Continuum

22 Coming soon to a Moodle page near you…


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