ignoring important educational potentials of gaming.”
- Kurt Squire, MIT
Some research on the use of video games in education
A UK study concluded that simulation and adventure games - such as Sim City and RollerCoaster Tycoon, where players create societies or build theme parks, developed children's strategic thinking and planning skills. (BBC News, March 2002)
Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games. (MSNBC News, April 2004)
A detailed literature review on video games and learning can be found here: http://www.futurelab.org.uk/research/lit_reviews.htm
Girls and women can benefit from becoming comfortable with video games, as they are introductory to the sphere of technology
Technology is constructed as ‘for men’
We are living in a time where technological proficiency and having the confidence to try new technologies are important skills
Online multiplayer games afford online social/virtual communities which can give girls and women social support and connectedness
Girls and women can explore experiences in online multiplayer games that may not be available or are less available to them in ‘the real world’ – this can be empowering and effect their everyday life ideas about themselves
Games are an ideal environment for collaborative learning and team work (feminist pedagogy)
Potential problems with using video games in education
Negative perception of video games as ‘just toys’, perpetuating negative ideas and as a waste of time
Need to strike a balance between learning and ‘fun’
Hardware divide (graphics cards, internet connections)
Skills divide (technology is constructed as a masculine domain, slower typists may not be able to keep up with discussions)
The VirtuSphere system consists of a large hollow sphere that sits on top of a base that allows the sphere to rotate 360 degrees.
Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, users can step inside the sphere to fully interact in immersive virtual environments.
VirtuSphere is marketed to target customers including: - Military, law enforcement, homeland security agencies and “first responders” (for simulated training exercises) - The electronic gaming industry (as the ultimate setting for immersive gaming) - Health clubs and athlete training - Education and museums - Architects, real estate professionals and others who can use virtual walk throughs as a powerful way to present plans
The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of nearly 200 leading colleges, universities, museums, corporations, and other learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.
NMC has a campus in Second Life (a VR environment program), where members can hold classes, have meetings and conduct experiments/research