Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Gaming Blogoshpere

I've been pounding the video game blogosphere for educational topics and found some interesting stuff. First, there is this blog called Kotaku that has a section for education and gaming:

Kotaku - Gaming/Education

It really provides an great list articles and links to provide some perspective of what the gaming insdutry itself is doing about education. An article by Jason Ocampo, provides a good summary (from GameSpot):

Fraction Fever Forever!

More importantly, I've been getting myself up to speed on some academic work being done on game, game theory, pedagogy, and application. The latest theory or investigatory thread is called"Ludology" -- which (as far as I can tell) has nothing to do with Luddites:

Ludology - Videogame Theory
Wikipedia - Ludology

There is also a big conference called the Serious Games Initiative which, I believe, intends to put some "importance" back into the game industry by creating application that work "on the other side" of games like SOCOM or American Army -- but for NGO's and such. It would be interesting to know if they are building a simulation type thing. I found this terrific essay by Adam Singer in the archives:

Games for Change Annual Conference

Some blogs that might be good to keep an eye on:

pasta and vinegar
Mr. MacKenty
Educational Technology and Life
Games! Games! Games!
The Ludologist
Education/Technology - Tim Lauer

Just as an aside to this, I think a lot of educators are stuck on the personal computer as a consumption device. But most kids (and people!) that I know really don't use the computer for consumption. They consume media with TVs, car radios, iPods, and (maybe) now PSPs. As a production device, the personal computer is practically unparallelled, you can write articles, send e-mails, even make movies -- but as a consumption device it's just a compromise. It's so complicated to setup (both hardware- and software-wise), maintain, and use just to watch a show or listen to a talk. I remember a teacher who was trying to show a DVD on a projector in class from her computer, having all sorts of trouble getting the computer to sync with the projector, then getting the DVD image to show on the big screen, etc-etc. I pointed to the DVD player hooked up to the projector and walked out of the room.

Finally, for yucks, here's a game article from The Onion with the headline "New Video Game Designed To Have No Influence On Kids' Behavior":

New Video Game


saten said...

Couple other interesting blogs focused on ludology and shared virtual spaces.

Terra Nova is a group blog on virtual worlds and MMOG.

Easily Distracted is by Tim Burke of Swarthmore, a history professor who studies the culture of online communities.

winchou said...

Hey, saten -- thanks for the links. Yep, there's a lot of new thinking being stirred up by MMOGs and virtual worlds. Excellent stuff. Thanks.

saten said...

Late addition. There's a new pbs series on the history and future of video games.

Seth said...

I've been following MacKenty's site and absolutely enjoy it. As a longtime gamer and now as an aspiring pedagogue, I'm very interested in how gaming can be applied constructively in the classroom.

Nope, nothing to do with Luddite, unfortunately. :) Ludology comes from the Latin verb ludo, ludere, "to play."

winchou said...

Hey seth -- Thanks for the etymology! Sure seems like there's a lot of thrashing trying to figure a way to make games work. I just want to start and try this thing; especially since there seem to be so few folks with both teaching and video game production experience -- glad to have you join in! Thanks.