The Design and Use of Simulation Computer Games in Education

The Design and Use of Simulation Computer Games in Education

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This volume presents a collection of empirical and theoretical work relating to simulation computer games, exploring the interrelationships between the instructional design and the educational use of these materials. The authors explore the interrelationships between design and use--success in both are critical to achieve the desired ends of facilitating learning--and provide a scholarly treatment of a topics frequently handled in an anecdotal, "pop science" manner. While there is a broad literature in the design of instructional materials and in the implementation or use of those materials, the design and use of educational simulation computer games is significantly different. The overwhelming majority of traditional instructional materials are designed to be used primarily as a teacher guides a learner. However, the vast majority of computer simulation games are designed to be used directly by the learner, without much mediation. A better understanding of these issues is critical for effective game-based learning. Chapters range from different approaches to design and different subject matter to the different types of technology-based environments. This book does not provide a "complete" perspective of any depth within cognitive science and computer science technology, nor does it "unmask the myth" of computer simulation games in education, as other volumes claim to do. Instead, this book provides a breadth of perspectives that move from "what we think" to "what we know" about simulation computer games in education, and gives an up-to-the-moment picture of "where we're at" in the theory, design and use of simulation computer games. A series of well argued but surprisingly entertaining articles go far to set the very foundations ofthe field of digital game based learning. This book is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in games and learning and will be for years to come." James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University Learning from serious games generates emotional discussions about the feasibility of games as effective learning devices. It is refreshing that the authors are committed to taking an empirical approach to the study of games and education - one of research and grounded theory, rather than advocacy. This volume in an important step in beginning to move beyond hype to a more firm foundation for the use of serious games. M. David Merrill, Instructional Effectiveness Consultant, Visiting Professor Florida State University This volume shows that serious inquiry into serious games is a real and valid pursuit. The book conveys that what we can gather about how people learn within computer-based games, and using games, contributes to how we go about designing new educational games, and using games in more formal learning environments. It offers a convergence of thoughts, perspectives, and ideals...that may not always agree, but lays all the cards on the table. It's very useful to get all these perspectives in one place. The authors further substantiate that research into this emerging area is one of promise and one that yields important results--providing impact across industry and academia. Clark Aldrich, Author of Simulations and the Future of Learning and Learning by Doing.