Welcome to December! December's topic is Game-Based Learning.
There are several terms for games/game mechanics/game technology used for other purposes besides entertainment. One, "gamification", has certainly elicited strong reactions. Critics of gamification don't like what they feel are tacked-on mechanics that did not deliver the promise of "fun." The same critique happened for "edutainment." While there were many successful edutainment titles, those games were sometimes heavier on the "edu" side than the "tainment." Later, it was thought that the term, "serious games," could reform or replace edutainment and also expand beyond the elementary school setting. However, serious games certainly did not suggest fun because it was a term designed to make teachers and governmental agencies take them seriously.
There is more and more interest in game design and using games in education. Hence, the term, "game-based learning." While game-based learning can simply mean using games for education, I think it is also meant to suggest a paradigm shift and an interest in students understanding game design. I've been told that game design is a 21st century skill and that the art of looking at life as a system is a desirable lesson. There is even a school that embraces game-based learning and tries to teach everything in that way.
I've love to hear stories about how game-based learning is being used in schools. Is it being adopted readily? And what are the results?
Sande Chen is a writer and game
designer whose work has spanned 10 years in the industry. Her credits
include 1999 IGF winner Terminus, 2007 PC RPG of the Year The Witcher,
and Wizard 101. She is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG.