Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age

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Can we learn socially and academically valuable concepts and skills from video games? How can we best teach the "gamer generation"? This accessible book describes how educators and curriculum designers can harness the participatory nature of digital media and play. The author presents a comprehensive model of games and learning that integrates analyses of games, game culture, and educational game design. Building on more than 10 years of research, Kurt Squire tells the story of the emerging field of immersive, digitally mediated learning environments (or games) and outlines the future of education.

Featuring engaging stories from the author's experiences as a game researcher, this book:

Explores the intersections between commercial game design for entertainment and design-based research conducted in schools.

Highlights the importance of social interactions around games at home, at school, and in online communities

Engages readers with a user-friendly presentation, including personal narratives, sidebars, screenshots, and annotations.

Offers a forward-looking vision of the changing audience for educational video games.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword James Paul Gee ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 Possible Worlds: Why Study Video Games? Aren't They a Waste of Time? 1

Designing Experience, or That Evasive "Fun Factor" 5

Social Gaming: Possible Identities 10

Possible Cultures 12

Digital Media and Learning 14

Theory and Practice 15

Feature: The Most Fun You Can Have with Model Railroads Without Sniffing Glue 17

Chapter 2 Ideological Worlds: What Makes a "Good" Educational Game? 19

Interest-Driven Learning 19

Worlds with Bias 22

Civilization as a Geographical Model 26

Ideological Worlds as Frameworks for Thinking 28

Meaning-Making in Ideological Worlds 30

Participation in Ideological Worlds 31

Theory and Practice 35

Feature: Cooperative Game Play 38

Chapter 3 Teaching with Games: Learning Through Play 40

Before-School Corpse Retrievals 40

From Players to Designers 43

Interest-Driven Learning 46

Open Access 48

The Montessori System: Following the Needs of the Child 48

Toward Game-Based Pedagogies 57

Theory and Practice 59

Chapter 4 Community Organizing for Participatory Learning 61

Creating a Community to Learn With 62

Inside Online Affinity Spaces 69

Education in a Digital Age: Participatory Education 71

Learning Through Participation 71

Theory and Practice 75

Chapter 5 Games-to-Teach: Designing Games for Learning 77

Broadening the Discussion of Education and Games 77

Games, Popular Media, Science, and Learning 79

Creating a Research Agenda for Games and Education 80

Designing Games for Learning 85

Building an Educational Game from Scratch 90

Inventing New Genres: Environmental Detectives 99

Theory and Practice 104

Feature: Learning to Be a Full-Spectrum Warrior 107

Chapter 6 Games in Classrooms: Replaying History 109

Teaching World History 109

Introducing Civ3 113

Failure, Trade Offs, and Just-in-Time Lectures 116

"This Game Isn't So Bad": Frustration, Failure, and Appropriation 117

The Emergence of a Game-Playing Culture 118

Recursive Play 122

What Students Learned 127

Civilization Camp: Developing Expert Gamers 128

Creating a New Gaming Culture 129

Developing Gaming Expertise 129

Theory and Practice 138

Chapter 7 The Aesthetics of Play 140

Games, Learning, Society: Building a Program 141

The Aesthetics of Game-Based Learning 142

Aesthetics of Being Viewtiful Joe 145

Apolyton University: Trajectories of Participation 150

During-Action Reports: Cognitive Artifacts That Organize Practice 152

Design Thinking 155

Designing Civ4 159

Toward an Aesthetics of Game-Based Learning 160

Theory and Practice 161

Feature: I Love Rock 'n' Roll 164

Chapter 8 Design Literacy: Productive Play 165

Developing Game Expertise 166

Developing Game Fluency 168

Games as Occasions of Theory Building and Testing 169

Competition and Learning 170

Organizing by Competitions 172

Trajectories of Participation 176

Centers of Expertise 177

What Learning Occurred? A Community Well Played 177

Theory and Practice 180

Chapter 9 Games Go to School: Situated Learning, Adaptable Curricula 182

Place-Based Gaming 185

Place-Based Learning 188

Learning Through Design, or How to Design an Educational Game 189

From Game Designer to Community Organizer 192

Community Organizing as Curriculum 194

Ramping Up 196

Situating Learning at South Beach 198

Scientific Citizenship 207

Scaling 210

Theory and Practice 211

Chapter 10 The Future of Games for Learning 213

Creating Education Media 213

Independent Games 214

Informal Learning Contexts 220

Scientific Citizenship 221

Example: Citizen Science 222

Mobile Media 224

Creating the Future of Educational Technology 227

Coda: On Researching the Effectiveness of Educational Interventions 228

Gold Standard Research 228

"Science" Fetish 230

Health Care Envy 232

References 235

Index 241

About the Author 253

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