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Clay Leben

The Case for Videogames as Powerful Tools for Learning | PBS - 12 views

  • 1. Just-in-time learning. Videogames give you just enough information that you can usefully apply. You are not given information you'll need for level 8 at level 1, which can often be the case with schools that download files of information that are never applied. Videogames provide doable challenges that are constantly pushing the edge of a player's competence. This is similar to Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development. Lev Vygotsky 2. Critical thinking. When you play videogames you're entering a virtual world with only the vaguest idea of what you are supposed to do. As a result, you need to explore the physics of the game and generate a hypothesis of how to navigate it. And then test it. Because games are complex, you are continually reformulating and retesting your hypothesis -- the hallmark of critical thinking. 3. Increased memory retention. Cognitive science has recently discovered that memory is a residue of thought. So what you think about is what you remember. As videogames make you think, they also hold the potential to increase memory retention. 4. Emotional interest. Videogames are emotionally engaging. Brain research has revealed that emotional interest helps humans learn. Basically, we don't pay attention to boring things. The amygdala is the emotional center of the brain and also the gateway to learning. 5. We learn best through images. Vision is our most dominant sense, taking up half of our brain's resources. The more visual input, the more likely it is to be recognized and recalled. Videogames meet this learning principle in spades as interactive visual simulations.
    Article offers several examples of games designed for learning and 5 game qualities.
Roland Gesthuizen

BBC News - Minecraft awarded GameCity videogame arts prize - 3 views

  • it was ultimately selected on the basis of its mood and ability to encourage gamers to become creative. "It's the broadest definition of art that you can have,"
  • computer games are definitely artistic. There are images and storylines that engage you, ideas that confuse your mind for hours and a whole package that keeps you coming back for days.
    Minecraft is the winner of a new arts award for computer games. The prize was announced at the finale of the GameCity videogame culture festival in Nottingham.
Roland Gesthuizen

'CodeSpells' wizard game teaches you how to program in Java (Wired UK) - 10 views

  • The aim was to keep children engaged while they are learning programming, which can be frustrating
  • he developed the game because there is a lack of qualified instructors to teaching computer science below college level in a way that is accessible
  • emergent use of code to surmount challenges of one's own making is an act that fits our definition of exploratory play
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  • analysed how 30 successful programmers learnt their trade.  They found that activities had to be structured by the person who is trying to learn and that learning must be creative and exploratory as well as 'sticky' -- successful programmers would spend hours and hours coding
    "A team of computer scientists has developed a videogame called CodeSpells that teaches people how to code in Java."
Roland Gesthuizen

Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die | Magazine - 2 views

    "In Japan, the word otaku refers to people who have obsessive, minute interests-especially stuff like anime or videogames. It comes from a term for "someone else's house"-otaku live in their own, enclosed worlds. Or, at least, their lives follow patterns that are well outside the norm. Looking back, we were American otakus. "
    Interesting to think about how Geek culture has changed over the past three decades.
John Pearce

MediaShift . The Literacy of Gaming: What Kids Learn From Playing | PBS - 5 views

    ""When people learn to play videogames," according to James Paul Gee, "they are learning a new literacy." This is one of the reason kids love playing them: They are learning a new interactive language that grants them access to virtual worlds that are filled with intrigue, engagement and meaningful challenges. And one that feels more congruent with the nature and trajectory of today's world. "
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