What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition

Overview

The definitive look at all that can be learned from video games
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Overview

The definitive look at all that can be learned from video games
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gee astutely points out that for video game makers, unlike schools, failing to engage children is not an option."—Terrence Hackett, The Chicago Tribune

"These games succeed because, according to Gee, they gradually present information that is actually needed to perform deeds."—Norman A. Lockman, USA Today

"James Paul Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy has been a transformative work. Gee might be described as the Johnny Appleseed of the serious games movement, planting seeds that are springing new growth everywhere we look. More than anyone else, he has forced educators, parents, policy makers, journalists, and foundations to question their assumptions and transform their practices. Gee combines the best contemporary scholarship in the learning scientists with a gamer's understanding of what is engaging about this emerging medium."—Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403984531
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 207,276
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

James Paul Gee has been featured in a variety of publications from Redbook, Child, Teacher, and USA Today to Education Week, The Chicago Tribune, and more. He is Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as "a serious scholar who is taking a lead in an emerging field" he has become a major expert in game studies today.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: 36 Ways to Learn a Video Game

• Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a "Waste of Time"?

• Learning and Identity: What Does It Mean to Be a Half-Elf?

• Situated Meaning and Learning: What Should You Do after You Have Destroyed the Global Conspiracy?

• Telling and Doing: Why Doesn't Lara Croft Obey Professor Von Croy?

• Cultural Models: Do You Want to Be the Blue Sonic or the Dark Sonic?

• The Social Mind: How Do You Get Your Corpse Back after You've Died?

• Conclusion: Duped or Not?

• Appendix: The 36 Learning Principles

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2007) by James Paul Gee might be one of the most valuable and timely titles I have read in recent years. Coming to video games late in life, initially to "help" his son with gaming, Gee began to see connections to his professional life as an educator in the virtual worlds created by video games.

    Specifically, Gee identified 36 learning principles often found in the best (most challenging, most fun, best designed, most popular) video games that are often lacking in contemporary schools that favor the skill-and-drill approach to deeper, more immersive learning. In discrete chapters, Gee identifies individual games (Tomb Raider, Half-Life, World of Warcraft, Sonic the Hedgehog to name a few) and the principles found in those games that could be applied to school learning.

    The ideas Gee outlines in What Video Games Have to Teach Us will not be shocking or revolutionary to anyone who already plays video games. Gamers know that it takes more to play a video game than hand-eye coordination. As Gee underscores throughout this book, gaming is a multifaceted process that requires planning, reflection, strategizing, and even community interaction. In other words, it's impossible to play a video game without learning how to do so.

    The key difference in learning a video game is that the learning is more strategic and immersive. Gamers learn by doing and through experimentation. They also learn in strategically effective ways. Instead of having adjust to the difficulty level of a game, the game--through its very design--often adjusts to the competency of the gamer. Schools have not found an effective way to do that yet. The main argument of this book is that video games create active, critical learners while schools often create passive learners.

    There is a lot to like about this book. Gee keeps the book grounded in actual anecdotes and experiences and carefully avoids the hypothetical by using his own life as a gamer to explain the principles found within the book. The game play is described as carefully as the learning principles to create a book that gamers and non-gamers will be able to embrace--and understand.

    Finally, this book isn't just about playing video games in isolation or even about schools. Rather Gee also looks at the community aspect of video games through their use of shared knowledge and, especially, through the creation of game related affinity groups (communities of sorts formed organically around shared interests). This multi-faceted approach to the subject creates a well-informed and thorough examination of video games, players, and how the ideas found in good video game play and design can be adapted to traditional learning environments to create a more engaging and enriching learning environment for every student.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    cultural models: Do you want to be the blue sonic or the dark sonic

    Would this mean you would, all of a sudden, want to kill Israeli setters or even that you would support the Palestinian cause over the Israeli one if you had not before? Certainly not. But it would mean that, far more interactively that you could in any novel or movie, you would have experienced the "other" from the inside. Even more interesting, since the cultural models built into the game are

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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