ArticlePDF Available
Wisconsin Center for Education Research
School of Education University of Wisconsin–Madison
WCER Working Paper No. 2005-4
June 2005
Video Games and the Future of Learning
David Williamson Shaffer
Department of Educational Psychology/
Wisconsin Center for Education Research/
Academic ADL Co-Laboratory
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Kurt R. Squire
Department of Curriculum & Instruction/
Academic ADL Co-Laboratory
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Richard Halverson
Department of Educational Leadership &
Policy Analysis /
Wisconsin Center for Education Research/
Academic ADL Co-Laboratory
University of Wisconsin–Madison
James P. Gee
Department of Curriculum & Instruction/
Academic ADL Co-Laboratory
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Copyright © 2005 by David Williamson Shaffer, Kurt R. Squire, Richard Halverson,
and James P. Gee
All rights reserved.
Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for noncommercial purposes by any means,
provided that the above copyright notice appears on all copies.
WCER working papers are available on the Internet at
The research reported in this paper was supported in part by a Spencer Foundation/National
Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, a grant from the Wisconsin Alumni Research
Foundation, a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (REC-
0347000), the Academic Advanced Distributed Learning CoLaboratory, and by the Wisconsin
Center for Education Research, School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Any
opinions, findings, or conclusions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies, WCER, or cooperating institutions.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
David Williamson Shaffer, Kurt R. Squire, Richard Halverson, and James P. Gee
Computers are changing our world: how we work . . . how we shop . . . how we entertain
ourselves . . . how we communicate . . . how we engage in politics . . . how we care for our
health. . . . The list goes on and on. But will computers change the way we learn?
We answer: Yes. Computers are already changing the way we learn—and if you want to
understand how, look at video games. Look at video games, not because the games that are
currently available are going to replace schools as we know them any time soon, but because
they give a glimpse of how we might create new and more powerful ways to learn in schools,
communities, and workplaces—new ways to learn for a new information age. Look at video
games because, although they are wildly popular with adolescents and young adults, they are
more than just toys. Look at video games because they create new social and cultural worlds:
worlds that help people learn by integrating thinking, social interaction, and technology, all in
service of doing things they care about.
We want to be clear from the start that video games are no panacea. Like books and
movies, they can be used in antisocial ways. Games are inherently simplifications of reality, and
current games often incorporate—or are based on—violent and sometimes misogynistic themes.
Critics suggest that the lessons people learn from playing video games as they currently exist are
not always desirable. But even the harshest critics agree that we learn something from playing
video games. The question is: How can we use the power of video games as a constructive force
in schools, homes, and workplaces?
In answer to that question, we argue here for a particular view of games—and of
learning—as activities that are most powerful when they are personally meaningful, experiential,
social, and epistemological all at the same time. From this perspective, we describe an approach
to the design of learning environments that builds on the educational properties of games, but
deeply grounds them within a theory of learning appropriate to an age marked by the power of
new technologies.
Video Games as Virtual Worlds for Learning
The first step towards understanding how video games can (and, we argue, will)
transform education is changing the widely shared perspective that games are “mere
entertainment.” More than a multibillion dollar industry, more than a compelling toy for both
children and adults, more than a route to computer literacy, video games are important because
they let people participate in new worlds. They let players think, talk, and act—they let players
inhabit—roles otherwise inaccessible to them. A 16-year-old in Korea playing Lineage can
become an international financier, trading raw materials, buying and selling goods in different
parts of the virtual world, and speculating on currencies (Steinkuehler, 2004a). A Deus Ex player
can experience life as a government special agent, where the lines between state-sponsored
violence and terrorism are called into question.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
These rich virtual worlds are what make games such powerful contexts for learning. In
game worlds, learning no longer means confronting words and symbols separated from the
things those words and symbols are about in the first place. The inverse square law of gravity is
no longer something understood solely through an equation; students can gain virtual experience
walking in worlds with smaller mass than the Earth, or plan manned space flights that require
understanding the changing effects of gravitational forces in different parts of the solar system.
In virtual worlds, learners experience the concrete realities that words and symbols describe.
Through such experiences, across multiple contexts, learners can understand complex concepts
without losing the connection between abstract ideas and the real problems they can be used to
solve. In other words, the virtual worlds of games are powerful because they make it possible to
develop situated understanding.
Although the stereotype of the gamer is a lone teenager seated in front of a computer,
game play is also a thoroughly social phenomenon. The clearest examples are massively
multiplayer online games: games where thousands of players are simultaneously online at any
given time, participating in virtual worlds with their own economies, political systems, and
cultures. But careful study shows that most games—from console action games to PC strategy
games—have robust game-playing communities. Whereas schools largely sequester students
from one another and from the outside world, games bring players together, competitively and
cooperatively, into the virtual world of the game and the social community of game players. In
schools, students largely work alone with school-sanctioned materials; avid gamers seek out
news sites, read and write FAQs, participate in discussion forums, and most important, become
critical consumers of information (Squire, in press). Classroom work rarely has an impact
outside the classroom; its only real audience is the teacher. Game players, in contrast, develop
reputations in online communities, cultivate audiences by contributing to discussion forums, and
occasionally even take up careers as professional gamers, traders of online commodities,1 or
game modders and designers. The virtual worlds of games are powerful, in other words, because
playing games means developing a set of effective social practices.
By participating in these social practices, game players have an opportunity to explore
new identities. In one well-publicized case, a heated political contest erupted for the presidency
of Alphaville, one of the towns in The Sims Online. Arthur Baynes, the 21-year-old incumbent,
was running against Laura McKnight, a 14-year-old. The muckraking, accusations of voter fraud,
and political jockeying taught young Laura about the realities of politics; the election also gained
national attention on National Public Radio as pundits debated the significance of games where
teens could not only argue and debate politics, but also run a political system in which the virtual
lives of thousands of real players were at stake. The complexity of Laura’s campaign, political
alliances, and platform—a platform that called for a stronger police force and a significant
restructuring of the judicial system—shows how deep the disconnect has become between the
kinds of experiences made available in schools and those available in online worlds. The virtual
worlds of games are rich contexts for learning because they make it possible for players to
experiment with new and powerful identities (Steinkuehler, 2004b).
1 As Julian Dibbell, a journalist for Wired and Rolling Stone, has shown, it is possible to make a better living by
trading online currencies than by working as a freelance journalist!
Video Games and the Future of Learning
The communities that game players form similarly organize meaningful learning
experiences outside of school contexts. In the various Web sites devoted to the game
Civilization, for example, players organize themselves around the shared goal of developing
expertise in the game and the skills, habits, and understandings that requires. At,
one such site, players post news feeds, participate in discussion forums, and trade screenshots of
the game. But they also run a radio station, exchange saved game files in order to collaborate and
compete, create custom modifications, and, perhaps most uniquely, run their own university to
teach other players to play the game more deeply. Apolyton University shows us how part of
expert gaming is developing a set of values—values that highlight enlightened risk taking,
entrepreneurship, and expertise rather than the formal accreditation emphasized by institutional
education (Squire & Giovanetto, in press). If we look at the development of game communities,
we see that part of the power of games for learning is the way they develop shared values.
In other words, by creating virtual worlds, games integrate knowing and doing. But not
just knowing and doing. Games bring together ways of knowing, ways of doing, ways of being,
and ways of caring: the situated understandings, effective social practices, powerful identities,
and shared values that make someone an expert. The expertise might be that of a modern soldier
in Full Spectrum Warrior, a zoo operator in Zoo Tycoon, a world leader in Civilization III. Or it
might be expertise in the sophisticated practices of gaming communities, such as those built
around Age of Mythology or Civilization III.
There is a lot being learned in these games. But for some educators, it is hard to see the
educational potential in games because these virtual worlds aren’t about memorizing words, or
definitions, or facts.
Video games are about a whole lot more.
From the Fact Fetish to Ways of Thinking
A century ago, John Dewey argued that schools were built on a fact fetish, and the
argument is still valid today. The fact fetish views any area of learning—whether physics,
mathematics, or history—as a body of facts or information. The measure of good teaching and
learning is the extent to which students can answer questions about these facts on tests.
But to know is a verb before it is a noun, knowledge. We learn by doing—not just by
doing any old thing, but by doing something as part of a larger community of people who share
common goals and ways of achieving those goals. We learn by becoming part of a community of
practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and thus developing that community’s ways of knowing, acting,
being, and caring—the community’s situated understandings, effective social practices, powerful
identities, and shared values.
Of course, different communities of practice have different ways of thinking and acting.
Take, for example, lawyers. Lawyers act like lawyers. They identify themselves as lawyers. They
are interested in legal issues. And they know about the law. These skills, habits, and
understandings are made possible by looking at the world in a particular way—by thinking like a
lawyer. The same is true for doctors but through a different way of thinking. And for architects,
plumbers, steelworkers, and waiters as much as for physicists, historians, and mathematicians.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
The way of thinking—the epistemology—of a practice determines how someone in the
community decides what questions are worth answering, how to go about answering them, and
how to decide when an answer is sufficient. The epistemology of a practice thus organizes (and
is organized by) the situated understandings, effective social practices, powerful identities, and
shared values of the community. In communities of practice, knowledge, skills, identities, and
values are shaped by a particular way of thinking into a coherent epistemic frame (Shaffer,
2004a). If a community of practice is a group with a local culture, then the epistemic frame is the
grammar of the culture: the ways of thinking and acting that individuals learn when they become
part of that culture.
Let’s look at an example of how this might play out in the virtual world of a video game.
Full Spectrum Warrior (Pandemic Studios, for PC and Xbox) is a video game based on a U.S.
Army training simulation.2 But Full Spectrum Warrior is not a mere first-person shooter in
which the player blows up everything on the screen. To survive and win the game, the player has
to learn to think and act like a modern professional soldier.
In Full Spectrum Warrior, the player uses the buttons on the controller to give orders to
two squads of soldiers, as well as to consult a GPS device, radio for support, and communicate
with rear area commanders. The instruction manual that comes with the game makes it clear
from the outset that players must take on the values, identities, and ways of thinking of a
professional soldier to play the game successfully: “Everything about your squad,” the manual
explains, “is the result of careful planning and years of experience on the battlefield. Respect that
experience, soldier, since it’s what will keep your soldiers alive” (p. 2).
In the game, that experience—the skills and knowledge of professional military
expertise—is distributed between the virtual soldiers and the real-world player. The soldiers in
the player’s squads have been trained in movement formations; the role of the player is to select
the best position for them on the field. The virtual characters (the soldiers) know part of the task
(various movement formations), and the player knows another part (when and where to engage
in such formations). This kind of distribution holds for every aspect of military knowledge in the
game. However, the knowledge that is distributed between virtual soldiers and real-world player
is not a set of inert facts; what is distributed are the values, skills, practices, and (yes) facts that
constitute authentic military professional practice. This simulation of the social context of
knowing allows players to act as if in concert with (artificially intelligent) others, even within the
single-player context of the game.
In so doing, Full Spectrum Warrior shows how games take advantage of situated learning
environments. In games as in real life, people must be able to build meanings on the spot as they
navigate their contexts. In Full Spectrum Warrior, players learn about suppression fire through
the concrete experiences they have while playing. These experiences give a working definition of
suppression fire, to be sure. But they also let a player come to understand how the idea applies in
different contexts, what it has to do with solving particular kinds of problems, and how it relates
to other practices in the domain, such as the injunction against shooting while moving.
2 The commercial game retains about 15% of what was in the Army’s original simulation. For more on this game as
a learning environment, see Gee (in press).
Video Games and the Future of Learning
Video games thus make it possible to “learn by doing” on a grand scale—but not just by
wandering around in a rich computer environment to learn without any guidance. Asking
learners to act without explicit guidance—a form of learning often associated with a loose
interpretation of progressive pedagogy—reflects a bad theory of learning. Learners are novices.
Leaving them to float in rich experiences with no support triggers the very real human penchant
for finding creative but spurious patterns and generalizations. The fruitful patterns or
generalizations in any domain are the ones that are best recognized by those who already know
how to look at the domain and know how complex variables in the domain interrelate. And this
is precisely what the learner does not yet know. In Full Spectrum Warrior, in contrast, the player
is immersed in activity, values, and ways of seeing. But the player is guided and supported by the
knowledge built into the virtual soldiers and the weapons, equipment, and environments in the
game. Players are not left free to invent everything for themselves. To succeed in the game, they
must live by—and ultimately master—the epistemic frame of military doctrine.
Full Spectrum Warrior immerses the player in the activities, values, and ways of
seeing—the epistemic frame—of a modern soldier. In this sense, it is an example of what we
suggest is the promise of video games and the future of learning: the development of epistemic
games (Shaffer, in press).
Epistemic Games for Initiation and Transformation
We have argued that video games are powerful contexts for learning because they make it
possible to create virtual worlds, and because acting in such worlds makes it possible to develop
the situated understandings, effective social practices, powerful identities, shared values, and
ways of thinking of important communities of practice. To build such worlds, one has to
understand how the epistemic frames of those communities are developed, sustained, and
changed. Some parts of practice are more central to the creation and development of an epistemic
frame than others, so analyzing the epistemic frame tells you, in effect, what might be safe to
leave out in a recreation of the practice. The result is a video game that preserves the linkages
between knowing and doing central to an epistemic frame—that is, an epistemic game (Shaffer,
in press). Such epistemic games let players participate in valued communities of practice: to
develop a new epistemic frame or to develop a better and more richly elaborated version of an
already mastered epistemic frame.
Developing games such as Full Spectrum Warrior that simultaneously build situated
understandings, effective social practices, powerful identities, shared values, and ways of
thinking is clearly no small task. But the good news is that in many cases existing communities
of practice have already done a lot of that work. Doctors know how to create more doctors;
lawyers know how to create more lawyers; the same is true for a host of other socially valued
communities of practice. Thus, we can imagine epistemic games in which players learn biology
by working as a surgeon, history by writing as a journalist, mathematics by designing buildings
as an architect or engineer, geography by fighting as a soldier, or French by opening a
restaurant—or more precisely, by inhabiting virtual worlds based on the way surgeons,
journalists, architects, soldiers, and restaurateurs develop their epistemic frames.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
To build such games requires understanding how practitioners develop their ways of
thinking and acting. Such understanding is uncovered through epistemographies of practice:
detailed ethnographic studies of how the epistemic frame of a community of practice is
developed by new members. That is more work than is currently invested in most “educational”
video games. But the payoff is that such work can become the basis for an alternative
educational model. Video games based on the training of socially valued practitioners let us
begin to build an educational system in which students learn to work (and thus to think) as
doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, journalists, and other important members of the
community. The purpose of building such educational systems is not to train students for these
pursuits in the traditional sense of vocational education. Rather, we develop those epistemic
frames because they can provide students with an opportunity to see the world in a variety of
ways that are fundamentally grounded in meaningful activity and well aligned with the core
skills, habits, and understandings of a postindustrial society (Shaffer, 2004b).
One early example of such a game is Madison 2200, an epistemic game based on the
practices of urban planning (Beckett & Shaffer, in press; Shaffer, in press). In Madison 2200,
players learn about urban ecology by working as urban planners to redesign a downtown
pedestrian mall popular with local teenagers. Players get a project directive from the mayor,
addressed to them as city planners, including a city budget plan and letters from concerned
citizens about crime, revenue, jobs, waste, traffic, and affordable housing. A video features
interviews with local residents, business people, and community leaders about these issues.
Players conduct a site assessment of the street and work in teams to develop a land use plan,
which they present at the end of the game to a representative from the city planning office.
Not surprisingly, along the way players learn something about urban planning and its
practices. But something very interesting happens in an epistemic game like Madison 2200.
When knowledge is first and foremost a form of activity and experience—of doing something in
the world within a community of practice—the facts and information eventually come for free. A
large body of facts that resists out-of-context memorization and rote learning comes easily if
learners are immersed in activities and experiences that use these facts for plans, goals, and
purposes within a coherent knowledge domain. Data show that in Madison 2200, players form—
or start to form—an epistemic frame of urban planning. But they also develop their
understanding of ecology and are able to apply it to urban issues. As one player commented: “I
really noticed how [urban planners] have to . . . think about building things . . . like, urban
planners also have to think about how the crime rate might go up, or the pollution or waste,
depending on choices.” Another said about walking on the same streets she had traversed before
the workshop: “You notice things, like, that’s why they build a house there, or that’s why they
build a park there.”
The players in Madison 2200 do enjoy their work. But more important is that the
experience lets them inhabit an imaginary world in which they are urban planners. The world of
Madison 2200 recruits these players to new ways of thinking and acting as part of a new way of
seeing the world. Urban planners have a particular way of addressing urban issues. By
participating in an epistemic game based on urban planning, players begin to take on that way of
seeing the world. As a result, it is fun, too.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
Games like Full Spectrum Warrior and Madison 2200 expose novices to the ways
professionals make sense of typical problems. Other games are designed to transform the ways
of thinking of a professional community, focusing instead on atypical problems: places where
ways of knowing break down in the face of a new or challenging situation.
Just as games that initiate players into an epistemic frame depend on epistemographic
study of the training practices of a community, games designed to transform an epistemic frame
depend on detailed examination of how the mature epistemic frame of a practice is organized and
maintained—and on when and how the frame becomes problematic. These critical moments of
expectation failure (Schank, 1997) are the points of entry for reorganizing experienced
practitioners’ ways of thinking. Building the common assumptions of an existing epistemic
frame into a game allows experienced professionals to cut right to the key learning moments.
For example, work on military leadership simulations has used goal-based scenarios
(Schank, 1992; Schank, Fano, Bell, & Jona, 1994) to build training simulations based on the
choices military leaders face when setting up a base of operations (Gordon, 2004). In the
business world, systems like RootMap (Root Learning, create
graphical representations of professional knowledge, offering suggestions for new practice by
surfacing breakdowns in conventional understanding (Squire, 2005). Studies of school leaders
similarly suggest that the way professionals frame problems has a strong impact on the possible
solutions they are willing and able to explore (Halverson, 2003, 2004). This ability to
successfully frame problems in complex systems is difficult to cultivate, but Halverson and Rah
(2004) have shown that a multimedia representation of successful problem-framing strategies—
such as how a principal reorganized her school to serve disadvantaged students—can help school
leaders reexamine the critical junctures where their professional understanding is incomplete or
ineffective for dealing with new or problematic situations.
Epistemic Games and the Future of Schooling
Epistemic games give players freedom to act within the norms of a valued community of
practice—norms that are embedded in non-player characters like the virtual soldiers in Full
Spectrum Warrior or real urban planners and planning board members in Madison 2200. To
work successfully within the norms of a community, players necessarily learn to think as
members of the community. Think for a moment about the student who, after playing Madison
2200, walked down the same streets she had been on the day before and noticed things she had
never seen. This is situated learning at its most profound—a transfer of ideas from one context to
another that is elusive, rare, and powerful. It happened not because the student learned more
information, but because she learned it in the context of a new way of thinking—an epistemic
frame—that let her see the world in a new way.
Although there are not yet any complete epistemic games in wide circulation, there
already exist many games that provide similar opportunities for deeply situated learning. Rise of
Nations and Civilization III offer rich, interactive environments in which to explore
counterfactual historical claims and help players understand the operation of complex historical
modeling. Railroad Tycoon lets players engage in design activities that draw on the same
Video Games and the Future of Learning
economic and geographic issues faced by railroad engineers in the 1800s. Madison 2200 shows
the pedagogical potential of bringing students the experience of being city planners, and we are
in the process of developing projects that similarly let players work as biomechanical engineers
(Svarovsky & Shaffer, in press), journalists (Shaffer, 2004b), professional mediators (Shaffer,
2004c), and graphic designers (Shaffer, 1997). Other epistemic games might involve players
experiencing the world as an evolutionary biologist or as a tailor in colonial Williamsburg
(Squire & Jenkins, 2004).
But even if we had the world’s best educational games produced and ready for parents,
teachers, and students to buy and play, it’s not clear that most educators or schools would know
what to do with them. Although the majority of students play video games, the majority of
teachers do not. Games, with their antiauthoritarian aesthetics and inherently anti-Puritanical
values, can be seen as challenging institutional education. Even if we strip aside the blood and
guts that characterize some video games, the reality is that as a form, games encourage
exploration, personalized meaning-making, individual expression, and playful experimentation
with social boundaries—all of which cut against the grain of the social mores valued in school.
In other words, even if we sanitize games, the theories of learning embedded in them run counter
to the current social organization of schooling. The next challenge for game and school designers
alike is to understand how to shape learning and learning environments based on the power and
potential of games—and how to integrate games and game-based learning environments into the
predominant arena for learning: schools.
How might school leaders and teachers bring more extended experiments with epistemic
games into the culture of the school? The first step will be for superintendents and public
spokespersons to move beyond the rhetoric of games as violent-serial-killer-inspiring-time-
wasters and address the range of learning opportunities that games present. Understanding how
games can provide powerful learning environments might go a long way toward shifting the
current anti-gaming rhetoric. Although epistemic games of the kind we describe here are not yet
on the radar of most educators, they are already being used by corporations, the government, the
military, and even by political groups to express ideas and teach facts, principles, and world
views. Schools and school systems must soon follow suit or risk being swept aside.
A New Model of Learning
The past century has seen an increasing identification of learning with schooling. But
new information technologies challenge this union in fundamental ways. Today’s technologies
make the world’s libraries accessible to anyone with a wireless PDA. A vast social network is
literally at the fingertips of anyone with a cell phone. As a result, people have unprecedented
freedom to bring resources together to create their own learning trajectories. But classrooms have
not adapted. Theories of learning and instruction embodied in school systems designed to teach
large numbers of students a standardized curriculum are antiquated in this new world. Good
teachers and good school leaders fight for new technologies and new practices. But mavericks
grow frustrated by the fundamental mismatch between the social organization of schooling and
the realities of life in a postindustrial, global, high-tech society (Sizer, 1984). Although the
general public and some policy makers may not have recognized this mismatch in the push for
standardized instruction, our students have. School is increasingly seen as irrelevant by many
students past the primary grades.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
Thus, we argue that to understand the future of learning, we have to look beyond schools
to the emerging arena of video games. We suggest that video games matter because they present
players with simulated worlds: worlds that, if well constructed, are not just about facts or isolated
skills, but embody particular social practices. And we argue that video games thus make it
possible for players to participate in valued communities of practice and as a result develop the
ways of thinking that organize those practices.
Our students will learn from video games. The questions are: Who will create these
games, and will they be based on sound theories of learning and socially conscious educational
practices? The U.S. Army, a longtime leader in simulations, is building games like Full Spectrum
Warrior and America’s Army—games that introduce civilians to military ideology. Several
homeland security games are under development, as are a range of games for health education,
from games to help kids with cancer take better care of themselves, to simulations to help
doctors perform surgery more effectively. Companies are developing games for learning history
(Making History), engineering (Time Engineers), and the mathematics of design (Homes of Our
Own) (Squire & Jenkins, 2004).
This interest in games is encouraging, but most educational games to date have been
produced in the absence of any coherent theory of learning or underlying body of research. We
need to ask and answer important questions about this relatively new medium. We need to
understand how the conventions of good commercial games create compelling virtual worlds.
We need to understand how inhabiting a virtual world develops situated knowledge—how
playing a game like Civilization III, for example, mediates players’ conceptions of world history.
We need to understand how spending thousands of hours participating in the social, political, and
economic systems of a virtual world develops powerful identities and shared values (Squire,
2004). We need to understand how game players develop effective social practices and skills in
navigating complex systems, and how those skills can support learning in other complex
domains. And most of all, we need to leverage these understandings to build games that develop
for players the epistemic frames of scientists, engineers, lawyers, political activists, and other
valued communities of practice—as well as games that can help transform those practices for
experienced professionals.
Video games have the potential to change the landscape of education as we know it. The
answers to fundamental questions such as these will make it possible to use video games to move
our system of education beyond the traditional academic disciplines—derived from medieval
scholarship and constituted within schools developed in the industrial revolution—and towards a
new model of learning through meaningful activity in virtual worlds as preparation for
meaningful activity in our postindustrial, technology-rich, real world.
Video Games and the Future of Learning
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... Ειδικότερα στο πλαίσιο διαδικτυακών παιχνιδιών πολλών παικτών, οι παίκτες αναπτύσσουν συνεργατικές αλληλεπιδράσεις που πολύ σπάνια αναπτύσσονται στις παραδοσιακές τάξεις (Nardi & Harris, 2006;Shaffer, et al., 2005;Tuzun, et al., 2009). Οι ομάδες παικτών σε παιχνίδια όπως το «World of Warcraft» (Blizzard Entertainment 2004) είναι πιο επιτυχημένες, όταν αναπτύσσονται στο πλαίσιό τους καλές κοινωνικές σχέσεις και εμπιστοσύνη μεταξύ των μελών. ...
... Παράλληλα, μία ακόμα πρόκληση στο πεδίο της Μάθησης μέσω Ψηφιακών Παιχνιδιών δεν είναι μονό η χρήση των ψηφιακών παιχνιδιών ως εκπαιδευτικών εργαλείων, αλλά και η διερεύνηση, ο εντοπισμός, και η εκμετάλλευση της δυναμικής τους Ψηφιακα Παιχνιδια [72] να εμπνεύσουν αλλαγές στο μοντέλο και το σύστημα εκπαίδευσης, την οργάνωση του σχολείου και τον σχεδιασμό εκπαιδευτικών περιβαλλόντων, έτσι ώστε η εκπαίδευση να είναι δομημένη γύρω από τη συνεργασία και τη μάθηση (Squire, 2005). Τα ψηφιακά παιχνίδια έχουν τη δυνατότητα να συμβάλουν στην αλλαγή του συστήματος της εκπαίδευσης όπως είναι σήμερα και να συντελέσουν στην ενσωμάτωση νέων μοντέλων μάθησης, κατάλληλων για τις σύγχρονες κοινωνικές, τεχνολογικές και επαγγελματικές απαιτήσεις (Shaffer, Williamson, Squire, Gee & Halverson, 2005). Το ερώτημα και ταυτόχρονα η πρόκληση που αναδύεται είναι το πώς μπορούμε να εκμεταλλευτούμε τα ψηφιακά παιχνίδια ως μια δημιουργική δύναμη για τη μάθηση. ...
Η Ελίνα Ροϊνιώτη και ο Χάρης Παπαευαγγέλου διερευνούν τη διεπαφή ανάμεσα στα ψηφιακά παιχνίδια και τον αθλητισμό, με αφετηρία τα esports. Στο πεδίο αυτό προβληματοποιούνται οι παραδοσιακοί ορισμοί του αθλητισμού, και κυρίως οι εργαλειακές σημασίες που τον περιβάλλουν, όπως η σωματικότητα, η κόπωση, ο ανταγωνισμός κλπ. Οι συγγραφείς διερευνούν τις θεσμικές και χωρικές ιδιαιτερότητες των esports, και στη συνέχεια μελετούν τον ρόλο του κοινού μέσα από τα ευρήματα μιας εμπειρικής έρευνας στους Έλληνες αθλητές esports.
... Games facilitate a so-called 'trial-and-error' approach that has been considered supportive of the development of logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Games can provide experiences across various situated contexts that enable learners to understand complex situations (Shaffer et al., 2004). These above-mentioned characteristics of gameplaying could contribute to knowledge construction (Gee, 2003). ...
Within the booming context of teaching learners the so-called 21st-century skills, tutoring teachers in novel teaching methods, approaches, and evaluation strategies, coupled with the massive trending use of games and gamification tactics, merge a necessity for teachers to be able to join together a series of requirements if they want to keep up-to-date as a part of the 21st century educational curriculum. In the quest to find activities that motivate English language students at the Language Center in the Autonomous Metropolitan University at Iztapalapa and Azcapotzalco campuses, it was decided to use a game-oriented activity. In many cases, a game-based approach has been used as a pedagogical activity that transmits knowledge; however, the possibility to create knowledge and to use games as evaluation tools has been set aside. Having analyzed learners’ perspective on the overall activity, it was decided that the assessment strategy needed deeper examination so that an implementation model could be proposed. It was considered that the rubrics used had the opportunity to be enriched. Thus, the types of rubrics and their characteristics were further investigated so that the rubrics initially used could be re-elaborated and improved. After the theoretical research, it was concluded that even though rubrics pose a positive assessment tool, they do need thorough planning and evaluation.
... Video games are increasingly being used as an educational resource (Shaffer, Squire, Halverson, & Gee, 2005;Annetta, 2008;Squire, 2008;Squire, 2011;Kardan, 2006;McMichael, 2007;McCall, 2011;Watson, Mong, & Harris, 2011). However, this has not always been the case. ...
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Generally, male video game characters represent a hegemonic masculinity based on a patriarchal system that shows as a protagonist and dominant a white, western, heterosexual, wealthy male, disabled man and anti-ecologist. Videogames are one of the most consumed entertainment industry products worldwide. For students, video games are spaces where to find their masculine identity. Therefore, education must include video games. Video games are used as an educational resource for the improvement of the teaching-learning process of students. However, the aim of this study is to VOL.25, Nº1 (MARZO,2021) ; The educational potential of video games in the deconstruction of hegemonic masculinity through the VIGLIAM method (Video Games Literacy from Alternative Masculinities). 336 propose a didactic method untitled VIGLIAM (acronym for Video Games Literacy from Alternative Masculinities). From this method, firstly, students deconstruct critically the hegemonic masculinity of the characters in video games. Secondly, students build critically and creatively alternative masculinities that promote a fairer and more equal society. From this way, students develop empowering and empathetic skills from categories as gender, race, class, sexual orientation, body and nature. In short, this research is part of masculinities studies in the area of education and it is fundamental in the light of the emergence of posmachism that arises given the possibility of the loss of male privilege. Resumen: Habitualmente, los personajes masculinos de los videojuegos representan la masculinidad hegemónica construida bajo los parámetros de un sistema patriarcal que presenta como sujeto protagonista y dominante al varón blanco-occidental-heterosexual-poderoso-adulto-sin discapacidad y antiecologista. Si a este hecho sumamos que los videojuegos son uno de los productos de la industria del ocio y del entretenimiento más consumidos mundialmente, observamos el papel crucial de la educación ante la búsqueda de una identidad masculina por parte de los alumnos en los videojuegos. Siendo éstos utilizados como recurso educativo para la mejora del proceso enseñanza-aprendizaje del alumnado, este estudio tiene como objetivo principal proponer un método didáctico, al que hemos denominado VIGLIM (acrónimo de Video Games Literacy from masculinities) mediante el cual, el alumnado deconstruya críticamente la masculinidad hegemónica de los personajes en los videojuegos y construya crítica y creativamente masculinidades alternativas que contribuyan a una sociedad más justa e igualitaria fomentando el desarrollo de competencias empáticas y empoderadoras desde las categorías género, raza, clase, orientación sexual, cuerpo y naturaleza. De modo que este trabajo se enmarca en los estudios de masculinidades, fundamentales en el ámbito educativo ante el surgimiento del posmachismo que surge ante la posibilidad de la pérdida del privilegio masculino. Palabras clave: alfabetización en videojuegos; género; masculinidad; pensamiento crítico; posmachismo; videojuegos.
... That African American young adults in the United States are not entering or persisting in STEM fields to the same degree as their White or Asian counterparts is a well-documented context to our work (see, for instance, U.S. Department of Education, 2008; U.S. Department of Labor, 2010). Game playing, which has been increasingly lauded by many researchers for its role in learning (e.g., Federation of American Scientists, 2006;Gee, 2007;Shaffer, Halverson, Squire, & Gee, 2005) and which some researchers pose as a route to entering technology fields (Hayes, 2007;Williams, 2006), may be a potential avenue to support African American youth's entry into technology fields. African American youth (ages 8-18) play video games an average of nearly 1.5 hours per day, roughly 1.34 times the amount spent by White youth (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010). ...
Collaboration (GDMC), an informal education program in 3D computer modeling and 2D interactive game design serving primarily African American youth aged 7 to 19 years in the Washington, D.C. metro area, transformed from a program designed and taught by adults to one designed and taught by youth. In Year 1, 8% of youth participants held a leadership role; by Year 4, 30% of youth participants did. Moreover, the nature of these roles transformed, with youth increasingly taking on responsibilities formerly held by adults. In this qualitative study, the authors describe and seek to understand this role shifting. Through the extensive collection and analysis of field observations over 4 years, the authors describe qualitative shifts in the agency involved in these roles—moving from a conception of youth as student to assistant to youth as designer and implementer of instruction. The authors analyze changes in youth agency that accompanied their implementation of the studio mentorship model where classrooms were transformed from traditional teacher-led classes to studios with a 1:3 ratio of peer mentors to students. The authors describe how, following this shift, youth initiated new instructional roles leading to the creation of a mentor-instructor pipeline. The authors pose the GDMC program as an example to discuss how culturally relevant computing practice emerges from a programmatic goal of viewing youth as assets and actively seeking ways to support youth’s initiatives and agency in digital technology education. The authors argue for the value of this asset building in technology education as a way to encourage youth from traditionally underserved groups to become technology leaders and innovators.
... Included in those learning activities are using gamification as a means of delivery. The term "game-based learning" (GBL) distinctively emphasizes the inclusion of defined learning outcomes (Shaffer et al., 2005). While it is often assumed that the game is digital, this is not always the case. ...
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This quantitative wine aroma educational study was conducted to evaluate whether hospitality student participants (N = 154) had enhanced engagement levels and interest in learning more about wine when participating in wine aroma wheel game-based learning (GBL) activities versus those who participated in traditional learning-based wine aroma lectures. Study findings indicated that GBL activities yielded a higher level of interest in learning more about wine aromas and suggested that the participants preferred learning about wine aromas in a social context and enjoyed learning about wine in the company of others. GBL activities indicated a significantly higher intention to conduct business with the subject’s winery than those who participated in the lecture-style wine aroma educational activities on site.
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Bu bölümde dijital oyun dünyası, dünya oyun tarihi ve Türkiye oyun tarihi başlıklarında ele alınmıştır, dünyada dijital oyunun gelişimi dönemsel olarak verilmiştir. Türk dijital oyun tarihi ise kronolojik olarak incelenmiştir. Geleneksel oyun ve dijital oyun kavramları arasındaki benzerlikler ve farklılıklar aktarılarak, dijital oyun kavramına getirilen tanım ışığında oyuncu kavramı açıklanmıştır.
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ilang puna para sa pagpapaunlad nito. Nakaugat ang kalakhan ng mga isyu sa disenyo ng laro sa kawalan ng kasaklawan ng layunin ng laro. Dahil hindi ito masaklaw, walang mahigpit na ugnayan sa ilang piyesa o elemento sa loob ng laro at walang kaisahan sa biswal na estetika nito. Gayunman, magagamit ang mga puna na ito para paunlarin ang isang larong ito tungo sa proyekto ng pagiging bahagi ng bukas na rekursong pang-edukasyon para sa pagtuturo ng wika.
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Abstrak Sinuri ng papel na ito ang tabletop game na Isabuhay bilang estratehiya sa pagtuturo ng wika. Sa unang bahagi ng pag-aaral, tinalakay nito kung ano ang game-based learning, mga halimbawa ng open education resource na mga laro, at ang bentahe ng game-based learning sa iba't ibang disiplina. Ang ikalawang bahagi naman ay pagtalakay sa obserbasyon ng mga mag-aaral at ng guro sa kanilang danas-sa-laro at danas-sa-pagkatuto, samantalang ang huling bahagi nito ay pagsusuri sa laro gamit ang mga prinsipyo ni James Paul Gee. Batay sa pagsusuri, sinunod ng laro ang mga prinsipyo ng isang mahusay na laro sa game-based learning-ang paglikha ng isang empowered learner, at ang paglikha ng espasyo para sa problem-solving at pag-unawa (understanding) bagaman maaaring paunlarin pa ang laro sa usapin ng panuto, mahusay na pag-iiskedyul ng mga pangyayari sa laro batay sa mga paksa ng klase, at pagpapaunlad sa antas ng hirap sa endgame o dulo ng laro para maging mas hamon ito sa mga mag-aaral. Susing ideya: game-base learning, language vitality, open education resource, tabletop game Abstrak This paper evaluated the tabletop game Isabuhay as a strategy for teaching language in college level. The first part of the paper discusses the concept of game-based learning and its examples in different disciplines. This is followed by the discussion of the experiences of the students and the teacher in using the game as part of their class. Lastly, the game was evaluated using the principles of game-based learning by James Paul Gee. In the evaluation, the game was able to follow the principles of "empowered learner" and the creation of space for problem-solving and understanding; however, there are parts of the game that can still be developed further, like clearer directions, timely scheduling of the game in line with the classes' topics, and developing of the progression of difficulty as the game progresses towards the end game. Susing ideya: game-based learning, language vitality, open education resource, tabletop game
Ninth graders, seniors, and college students found that playing video games enhanced their connections to print-based texts they were reading in their classes.
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Play activity is an integral part of childhood and accompanies most aspects of young children activity. In the new "culture" that has developed in recent years, digital games have become prominent and have replaced a number of "traditional" games in children's daily lives. This phenomenon has provoked a series of debates regarding the effect of digital games on children's overall development. Positive and negative views have been expressed, but undoubtedly, a new reality has been created, in which, the presence of digital games is intertwined with children's daily life. The current study attempted to investigate elementary school children's habits regarding the use of digital games through various sources (computer, tablet, gaming machine), their choices and preferences, as well as the conditions, under which they play (alone, with friends, etc.). In order to address the current research questions, a questionnaire was developed, based on a combination of an existing questionnaire as well as a number of variables that emerged from the literature review. Elementary school students in 2 nd , 3 rd , 4 th , and 5th grades of an elementary school in Volos, participated in the questionnaire , and a total of 81 questionnaires were collected and analysed.
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Successful school leaders rely on a complex blend of knowledge, skill, theory, disposition, and values in their work to improve student learning. Recent research has called for methods to access, represent, and communicate what successful school leaders know. Aristotle's concept of "phronesis," or practical wisdom, captures the scope of such knowledge but also points out the difficulties of representing practical knowledge apart from the context of exercise. This article argues that the artifacts, such as policies, programs, and procedures, that school leaders develop and use can serve as occasions to document the expression of phronesis in context. Developing phrenetic narratives of how successful leaders use artifacts to establish the conditions for improving student learning provides a significant resource to guide the learning of aspiring school leaders.
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Building on the theory of islands of expertise developed by Crowley and Jacobs (2002), in this paper I develop the concept of epistemic frames as a mechanism through which infusion environments can help students use experiences in one context to help them deal with new situations. I describe epistemic frames as the ways of knowing, of deciding what is worth knowing, and of adding to the collective body of knowledge and understanding of a community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991). I use data from two design experiments to extend the concept of islands of expertise, showing how the ability of students to incorporate epistemic frames into their identities suggests a mechanism through which infusion experiences and other rich learning contexts may support activity in novel situations.
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Given their increasing domination of the entertainment industry and wide spread popularity among a wide range of populations, massively multiplayer online videogames (MMOGs) are quickly becoming the form of entertainment and a major mechanism of socialization. Researchers have taken notice, and educational MMOGs are now beginning to emerge; however, there is a paucity of research on the actual culture/cognition of MMOGameplay, despite its necessity for sound theory and viable design. This paper outlines an ongoing cognitive ethnography of a currently thriving MMOG. Using discourse analytic methods, this project is developing a "thick description" (Geertz, 1973) of naturally-occurring gameplay, paying particular attention to the forms of socially and materially distributed cognition that emerge, the learning mechanisms embedded within community practice, and the ways in which participation shapes and is shaped by the situated (on-and off-screen) identities of its members. After outlining the data collection and analysis methods used, I present an illustrative analysis of selected data and preliminary findings specific to learning within this new virtual space for play. Imagine an entire 3D world online, complete with forests, cities, and seas. Now imagine it populated with others from across the globe who gather in virtual inns and taverns, gossiping about the most popular guild or comparing notes on the best hunting spots. Imagine yourself in a heated battle for the local castle, live opponents from all over collaborating or competing with you. Imagine a place where you can be the brave hero, the kingdom rogue, or the village sage, developing a reputation for yourself that is known from Peoria to Peking. Now imagine that you could come home from school or work, drop your bookbag on the ground, log in, and enter that world any day, any time, anywhere. Welcome to the world of massively multiplayer online gaming. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are highly graphical 2-or 3-D videogames played online, allowing individuals, through their self-created digital characters or "avatars," to interact not only with the gaming software (the designed environment of the game and the computer-controlled characters within it) but with other players' avatars as well. These virtual worlds are persistent social and material worlds, loosely structured by open-ended (fantasy) narratives, where players are largely free to do as they please – slay ogres, siege castles, barter goods in town, or shake the fruit out of trees. They are notorious for their peculiar combination of designed "escapist fantasy" yet emergent "social realism" (Kolbert, 2001): In a setting of wizards and elves, princes and knights, people save for homes, create basket indices of the trading market, build relationships of status and solidarity, and worry about crime. Such games are ripe for cultural/cognitive analysis of the social and material practices attending them: Given their increasing domination of the entertainment industry, wide-spread and growing popularity with people of all age groups, ethnicities, and economic classes, and purported addictive quality for those who plug in (Jewels, 2002), MMOGs are quickly becoming the form of entertainment and a major mechanism of socialization for young and old alike.
Supported by a grant from MASIE Center e-Learning CONSORTIUM.
Outside school, people typically learn during their experiences while addressing desired goals. The Goal-Based Scenario (GBS) framework describes computer-based learning environments that exploit this simple fact. In this article, we propose a structure and a set of design criteria for learn-by-doing environments that enable students to work towards desired goals. A key issue we address is the content to be taught by GBSs. Because skills are the form of knowledge that, when applied, enable students to achieve valued goals, we argue that GBSs should be designed to teach a set of target skills required to achieve a specified goal. Two programs we built prior to specifying GBSs but motivated by many of the same ideas will be analyzed according to the proposed principles. We conclude by briefly describing tools currently under development to facilitate the construction of GBSs.
In this article, we describe a preliminary study that integrates research on engineering design activities for K-12 students with work on microworlds as learning tools. Here, we extend these bodies of research by exploring whether—and how—authentic recreations of engineering practices can help students develop conceptual understanding of physics. We focus on the design–build–test (DBT) cycle used by professional engineers in simulation-based rapid modeling. In this experiment, middle-school students worked for 10 hr during a single weekend to solve engineering design challenges using SodaConstructor, a Java-based microworld, as a simulation environment. As a result of the experiment, students learned about center of mass. Our data further suggest that in the process of simulation-based modeling, rapid iterations of the DBT cycle progressively linked students' interest in the design activities and understanding of the concept of center of mass. We suggest that these rapid iterations of the DBT cycle functioned as exploratoids: short fragments of exploratory action in a microworld that cumulatively develop interest in and understanding of important scientific concepts. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach