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"Game-Based Learning & Gamified Learning" by Sherry Jones (November 23, 2014)


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November 23, 2014 - This is my Game Studies presentation for the Metagame Book Club titled: "Game-Based Learning & Gamified Learning."

Interested in joining fellow educators to learn more about gaming in education? Access the free book club here:

Metagame Book Club

Published in: Education
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"Game-Based Learning & Gamified Learning" by Sherry Jones (November 23, 2014)

  1. 1. #Metagame Book Club Game Studies Week 3: “Game-Based Learning & Gamified Learning” Sherry Jones Game Studies Facilitator Fall 2014 @autnes
  2. 2. Watch the Live Webcast To This Lecture!
  3. 3. Texts in Focus 1. "Making Right(s) Decision: Artificial Life and Rights Reconsidered" by Juyun Kim (2005) 2. "Adolescent Thinking and Online Writing After the Use of Commercial Games in the Classroom" by Pilar Lacasa et. al. (2011) 3. "A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Computer Games into the Writing Classroom" by Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2011) 4. "The Ethics of Indigenous Storytelling: using the Torque Game Engine to Support Australian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage" by Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007)
  4. 4. Guiding Questions Q. As an educator, have you used any video game in your classroom? If so, how did the video game support your lessons? Q. If you have not used any video game in the classroom, what concerns did you have that prevented you from employing games as learning tools? Q. Given your student population, would your students readily accept video games as part of their education? Do you anticipate resistance to using video games as texts? Why?
  5. 5. A Close Reading of "Making Right(s) Decision: Artificial Life and Rights Reconsidered" by Juyun Kim (2005) The Sims 4
  6. 6. Artificial Life, Gaming, and Education Kim argues that digital games in the simulation genre, such as The Sims, call on players to consider the relationship and interconnectedness between humans and machines. He finds that simulation-based digital games can help educators introduce moral education into the classroom: “Since students are already engaged with artificial life (A-life) environments such as online and video games, educators can use these interests to introduce issues of rights, responsibilities and ethical dilemmas.” -- Juyun Kim (2005)
  7. 7. Kim identifies certain ethical implications of the creation of A-life. The term, “A-life,” generally refers to a human-made life. However, the distinction between human-made life and nature-made life does not free us from moral and ethical considerations for either forms of life. There are several issues in A-life development to consider. First, A-life development emphasizes autonomy. An autonomous agent “means any self organizing ‘adaptive system which actively behaves to achieve a certain goal while in continuous long term interaction with its environment.’” -- Juyun Kim (2005) A-life and Autonomy
  8. 8. A-life, Sensations, and Materiality “Sack present A-life as an example of ‘aesthetic critique of AI.’ The aesthetic turn from essentialist objections toward neo-cybernetic examination of the roles of the body, the senses and perception and interactions with environment, however, produces ethical implications, if we are interconnected with ‘enough similar to us.” . . . By problematizing how the effects of machines-as agent are being generated, Suchman warns us to keep an eye on historical materialization of machines and consequences.” -- Juyun Kim (2005)
  9. 9. A-life, Cyborgs, and Natural vs. Artificial Kim references Haraway’s definition of cyborg to show the problem of defining A-life through the natural vs. artificial binary. According to Haraway: “A cyborg is a ‘cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machines and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creation of fiction.’ Cyborgs blur the binary between human and machine, science and social reality, natural and artificial and male and female. . . . Haraway reminds us that ‘trope nature through a relentless artifactualism means that nature for us is made as both fiction and fact.” -- Juyun Kim (2005)
  10. 10. Kim references Inayatullah’s argument that A-life, such as robots, should be given rights. Inayatullah asserts: “Humans may see robots in their own rights; not only as mechanical slaves, produces, and buy and sell, but also entities in their own rights. Denial of rights of robots - since they are considered other, as not sentient, and thus not part of our consideration - becomes of an exemplar of how we treat other humans, plants, animals and civilizations. . . . Robot should have rights not because they are like humans, but of what they are, as themselves.” -- Qtd. in Kim (2005) A-life and Rights
  11. 11. The Sims is a type of “God game” where the player can control their character’s life. Kim argues that The Sims can simultaneously serve as a simulation and examination of A-life and human life: “By creating their own characters, players take up certain subject positions and exercise certain options that animate The Sims with stories from everyday contexts. The Sims leads players to examine their own lives by simplifying a complex real world into a microworld. This simulation game is an intriguing realization of A-life.” -- Juyun Kim (2005) A-life and The Sims
  12. 12. Killing of Simulated Life in The Sims Although The Sims provide characters with emotional states, some players feel little emotions or empathy for the life of their in-game characters. In fact, a phenomenon exists where players enjoy killing their Sim characters. Kim points to a post on The Sims discussion forums as example: “Sim killing is fun. Maybe you hate Britney, and you make a Sim like Britney just so you can kill her. Fun. Anyway, because I am a Sim serial killer, I don’t just kill my Sims one way. That would be so boring! So I’ ve made a list of original ways you can kill Sims.” -- Qtd. in Kim (2005)
  13. 13. Empathy for Simulated Life in The Sims 2 “Due to the new features including reproduction, genetics and aging in The Sims 2, more often than not, most of postings in the thread, ‘Please, don’t kill them all’ recognized the moral dilemmas created in The Sims 2” -- Juyun Kim (2005) A player posted: “I don’t think you should kill all of them, unless you really want to do that. You have to think about the consequences…. Second: The remaining sim will have that memory as a bad one. Will cry and you will end up with a ghost. Third: Poor Sim!!!” -- Qtd. in Kim (2005)
  14. 14. Players’ Moral Dilemma and The Sims 2 “Most of The Sims 2 players face moral dilemmas of killing their characters since feelings that sims are ‘real,’ are evoked. At the same time as one player note the consequences of killing a Sim weights on one’s conscience.” -- Juyun Kim (2005) A player posted: “I don’t kill Sims that represents my family members and closest friends. No matter how much they make my life crazy or how much they annoy me. I couldn’t do that. Especially not with Sims 2. That would just be wrong.” -- Qtd. in Kim (2005)
  15. 15. A Close Reading of "Adolescent Thinking and Online Writing After the Use of Commercial Games in the Classroom” by Pilar Lacasa et. al. (2011) Spore
  16. 16. Video Games, Literacy, and Cognitive Development Pilar Lacasa et. al. (2011) argue that video games can help students learn new forms of literacy (and discourses) and develop complex cognitive processes via game interactions. The article builds on James Paul Gee’s Semiotic Domains theory, and offers an insightful look of how to teach biology and evolution via the game, Spore.
  17. 17. Lacasa et. al (2011) argues that educators can use video games to help students further develop the learning skill of inquiry: “Teacher: What do you think about this game?” “Student: The game is cool, right? But I don’t think that when people are playing at home they think about the theory of evolution. But if you are playing in the classroom then yes, you start to think but when you’re in another place you are more thinking, ah I will kill this stupid, that. .. and not because I think that is the theory of Lamarck.” -- Pilar Lacasa et. al. (2011) Science Skill - Inquiry
  18. 18. “Teacher: Okay we start with group 3. What do you think that the game has to do with the evolution theories? Student: It shows, as Darwin said, that the strongest survive. Teacher: The strongest survive. But does it always happen? Is it the strongest who survives? Is it always the strongest? Is there another way to survive? Student: After there is the adaptation to the environment from Lamarck and the cooperation ideas from Kimura.” -- Pilar Lacasa et. al. (2011) Science Skill - Analysis
  19. 19. Lacasa et. al. (2011) argue that video games offer contexts that can contrast with the limited contexts offered in science class examples. With video game context, students have to offer their own answers, rather than stereotypical answers: “Teacher: Why do you mention Lamarck's adaptation to the environment? Student: Because it has to improve with each generation, in that way the best can survive ... like the giraffe, which increasingly has the longest neck to eat higher things. Such as ours creature in Spore, [it] has the biggest mouth to eat bigger and stronger enemies.” -- Lacasa et. al. (2011) Science Skill - Interpretation
  20. 20. A Close Reading of "A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Computer Games into the Writing Classroom" by Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2011) Mists of Pandaria from World of Warcraft
  21. 21. Video Games and Critical Thinking “This research indicates that games are productive in helping students apply, synthesize, and think critically about what they learn through active and social participation. As a sophisticated and immediate interactive and conditional space of branching possibilities or what Jesper Juul (2005) argued is a “state machine” (p. 56), computer games can offer teaching methods that help students learn through embodied simulation. Because computers can sustain simulated game worlds, they can be used to enhance learning through application within this simulation.” -- Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2008)
  22. 22. Play and Meaning “According to the historian and early game theorist Johan Huizinga (1955), “Meaning originally ‘leisure,’ [school] has now acquired precisely the opposite sense of systematic work and training, as civilization restricted the free disposal of the young man's time more and more” (p. 148). School was considered “leisure” when only the upper classes could engage in it. After school became universalized enough to admit more working-class students, school became serious work. Historically, the playfulness of learning for the upper class was readily apparent in ancient Greece, where rhetoric has a history linked to play.” -- Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2008)
  23. 23. Work and Play “Even though this history of rhetoric offers a basis from which teachers and students can see the arbitrariness of the work/play distinction, school and writing instruction have changed. Although one positive development in college missions is providing opportunities to the underprivileged, it has also been associated with the implicit goal of “disciplining bourgeois subjectivity” (Crowley, 1998, p. 34), which in turn neglects activities not associated with serious self-improvement. Although productive play can be educational, this association causes skepticism. Nevertheless, imagining the classroom as a type of gamespace can further erase the work/play distinction.” -- Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2008)
  24. 24. Classroom as Gamespace “Like a gamespace, a classroom is a magic circle, a space bounded by terms and class periods and defined by its own set of classroom rules and learning objectives. With grades come the classroom's own rewards for reaching objectives in the form of arbitrary points that have capital within the classroom space, but, at least to students, often seem to signify very little outside that space. Both spaces seem to be part of a magic circle that exists in a space clearly not a part of what usually gets termed the “real world” but in a pure space.” -- Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2008)
  25. 25. WoW and Writing “Julian Dibbell (2006) and Edward Castronova (2003) have shown that the materiality of online gamespaces such as WoW are often directly connected to the “real world” in the form of real goods and services that can be purchased to improve gameplay, creating a “real world” economic impact “of $20 billion each year” (Dibbell, 2006, p. 13). Similarly, in the writing course we are proposing, students would actually participate in the WoW community, producing textual goods and services for that community that would also serve as academic assignments. . . . and that textual objectives achieved in both spaces could [also] have “real world” significance. -- Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Coby (2008)
  26. 26. A Close Reading of "The Ethics of Indigenous Storytelling: using the Torque Game Engine to Support Australian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage" by Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007) Water Simulation
  27. 27. Serious Game on Australian Aborigines Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007) developed a Digital Songlines game engine (DSE) toolkit to simulate the way of life, environment, stories, and cultural heritage of the Australian Aborigines. The article details the designers’ extensive efforts to create and implement a serious game that documents and simulates the life of real subjects. The complex process of making this serious game is worth our consideration and reevaluation of the value of creating serious or epistemic games for education.
  28. 28. On Preserving/Simulating Stories “Stories are a means by which knowledge and understanding is passed from generation to generation. As they live with such a close connection to the country and seasons, know it so intimately, the stories, songs and culture are inextricably linked to the land. Aboriginal culture is still alive today with older people from the country still able to tell their stories.” “The game-based virtual environments seek to explore the spiritual, mythic, magic and superstitions of the landscape as a traditional hunting ground and hallowed place of worship.” -- Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007)
  29. 29. On Preserving/Simulating the Environment “The features of the landscape and the fauna and flora contained must be faithfully reproduced in such a manner that the stories to be told in this medium are closely linked visually and experientially with their ‘country’ of origin.” “As ostensibly an educational product, if we create inaccurate environments then ‘inter-actors’ (not just users) with the product may be misled about a particular story, or scene within a story. This has implications not just for knowledge acquisition and cultural maintenance for posterity but, in Australian Aboriginal culture, the inaccurate telling of stories may affect the environments they refer to with deleterious spiritual consequences.” -- Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007)
  30. 30. On Preserving/Simulating Cultural Objects “Each individual plant and animal must be of the correct type or subspecies, and the narratological information associated with them has to be accurate and authentic. For example, a totem animal or Yurdi (an animal of special significance) may have a recurring theme in a story told by a particular community. Therefore, it must be included. Different animals have differing significance in different country.” -- Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007)
  31. 31. On Preserving/Simulating Cultural Objects “The Aboriginal children who participated in this exercise showed real pride when they saw what the program represented. They were surprised at the rich graphics and interaction. Some felt it was a historical simulation. Others felt it related to a contemporary environment. Thus, as a tool for empowering self-determination and overcoming negative stereotyping by mainstream media, it was instrumental in dismantling preconceived ideas of self-worth and image – the normally held view that somehow indigenous peoples ‘cannot do this kind of non-indigenous hi-tech work.’ -- Theodor G. Wyeld et. al. (2007)
  32. 32. Additional Discussion of “Let's Play a Game - Learn Philosophy and Rhetoric via Digital Game-Based Learning" by Sherry Jones (2014)
  33. 33. Lecture By: Sherry Jones Game Studies Facilitator Philosophy, Rhetoric, Game Studies @autnes Writings & Webcasts Access Slides: