Learning Principles from Games

This article researched by James Paul Gee praised educational value of games stating that games teach important learning principles applicable to outside contexts. Examples of good games included Rise of Nations, Age of Mythology, and System Shock 2.

  • Games provide motivation by allowing players immerse themselves as the character. They manipulate the character and make decisions that impact the game. An analogy they gave was a science class where students who imagine themselves as the scientist reap the most benefits of learning. (Previous articles stated motivation was the result of competition, extrinsic rewards, and mastery, discovery of new knowledge, skills, problem solving.)
  • They provide the right information at right time and in appropriate context.
  • The level is ideal.  It is challenging but not too difficult or too easy. Users can also customize levels and participate in activities for skill development.
  • Games present problems that require users to solve. These problems are sequenced and increase in complexity as one levels up and they serve as foundations for more complex problems.
  • Player collaborate where they can share knowledge and skills.

Note: How can I apply these skills to create a game to teach specific skills in subject- for example, reading comprehension for English language learners, other academic subjects, other interests such as tourism or cooking or foods from other various cultures?


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