Game MOOC Week 1

When I started visiting/attending/reading/??? the GameMOOC I thought it would be a great idea to put a short summary post together at the end of each week to wrap up the bits that I found most interesting and useful.

Didn’t quite happen that way but there’s no time like the present.

So here is Week 1 – note that I haven’t included the TweetChat or the live sessions but they’ve been pretty great as well.

Games MOOC Week 1 – Serious and Big G Games

(Intro to Serious Games Slideshare –

“Serious games are games with a purpose beyond entertainment”

Exploration, experimentation, problem solving

Harness the metagaming, the active discussion and speculation that take place around the game, to inform other learning activities

The new literacies:

  1. Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  2. Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  3.  Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  4. Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  5. Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  6. Distributed Cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  7. Collective Intelligence – the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  8. Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  9. Transmedia Navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  10. Networking – the ability to search for, synthesize and disseminate information
  11. Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives and grasping and following alternative norms

Game Genres:

Mini games: Small, easy to access game built to be simple and addictive, which often focuses on mastering an action and can provide awareness of more complicated issues

Interactive metrics: Simulation in which students typically try to impact critical metrics by allocating resources along competing categories and getting feedback of their decisions through graphs and charts

Frame games: Students engage familiar games and puzzles such as Wheel of Fortune, Solitaire or Memory, with important pieces of awareness or task based content replacing trivia or icons

Branching story: Simulation in which students make a series of decisions via a multiple choice interface to progress through and impact an event

Practice ware: Real-time, often 3D sims that encourages participants to repeat actions in high fidelity situations until the skills become natural in the real-world counterpart

Virtual product or virtual lab: A series of challenges/puzzles to be solved using on-screen representations of real-world objects and software

Some good ideas about how to use serious games and why

Recommended games for the week:

Darfur is dying –

Eye of the Donkey –

Viking Quest –

James Gee – Games for Change Keynote :

Big G games are good for learning – (the game and the social interactions that exist around the game itself – e.g Internet communities and so forth)

Digital Game Based learning 2006 – Richard Van Eck:

“Learning that occurs in meaningful and relevant contexts, then, is more effective than learning that occurs outside of those contexts, as is the case with most formal instruction. Researchers refer to this principle as situated cognition and have demonstrated the effectiveness of this principle in many studies over the last fifteen years.”

“Games embody this process of cognitive disequilibrium and resolution. The extent to which these games foil expectations (create cognitive disequilibrium) without exceeding the capacity of the player to succeed largely determines whether they are engaging.”


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