CS4067 Week 3 Digital games and learning

Posted: September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

In this weeks lecture we discussed the idea of games and learning. The discussion began with the notion  of , can games really make a person learn something new? the answer was easy, yes they can but the types of learning fall into two categories, incidental and intentional.

A person would be playing a game i.e Assassins creed and pick up on some of the historical facts that are presented in the game, the user may be enjoying there time while playing but not paying much attention to learning and due to the immersion of the game the user comes out learning a thing or two and the types of information learned would depend on the games genre.

In my opinion learning in this way is incidental, the developers may wanted to have everything very detailed to build a good story on which would easily get any played immersed in the experience. As the user progress through the game they would be able to remember specific things in the story and be able to talk about them fluidly.

When we discussed about intentional learning in games, most of the class agreed that a lot of intentional based learned games are not great at keeping the users attention for a long period of time, people would reject the idea of learning while playing. However in recent technological advancements learning games are becoming more accessible, “With tablets, advanced gaming systems, and other modern achievements, kids can also be learning all the time at home”[1]

We then moved on and the question , ‘what is learning?’ was asked and we then learned about three simple concepts of learning

1. Cognitive skills – which drive our intellectual judgement
2. Psychomotor skills – which drive our physical judgement
3. Affective skills – which drive our social and behavioral judgement.

Each of these skills are achieved by a certain learning process , how you go about it. In my opinion for something to be a successful learning tool, users must see the results of the work they have undertaken and analyse their progress. Through my experience, if I wanted to learning something new like a programming language, I like to start with the basics and see some output of the code no matter how simple it is, i start to create links in my head and begin to learn quickly. It is through the process that I like to learn from, learn by doing.  This learn by doing approach with correct UI design and game play features like a reward system would make games much more interesting

Resources :

[1] http://lifehacker.com/the-best-educational-apps-and-games-for-kids-1302569890

[2] http://www.theknowledgeguru.com/game-based-learning-infographic/

[3] http://itls.usu.edu:8080/groups/6505_knowledgebase/revisions/0cd45/7/

Evaluation of three games:

#1 World of Warcraft:

World of Warcraft

This game provides an interactive and immersive experience to most of the users who play it. The game is driven by the community, people learn by interacting with each other in the game. The games mechanics is central on teamwork and everyone has to pull their weight, the developers try to emphasis this on the loading screens with tips like ‘be nice to people and they may invite you into a group again’

#2 Age of Empires

Ages of Empires

This was one of the first games I ever played when I was younger, this game taught me all about historical civilizations that I didn’t know existed. Each civilization would have its own unique mechanics, from this I would remember the names of each civilization and be able to identify them.

#Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!

Brain Age

This was aimed at making your brain more active with challenges and puzzles. The great thing about this game was it wasn’t boring and the game play was quite fun. The challenges and puzzle kept making come back to play it each day. The user is graded on their performance each day and can see a progression curve.

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