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Video Game Pedagogy: Good Games = Good Pedagogy
We have always appropriated whatever technologies are available to us for use as technologies for instruction. This practice may well date back as far as human communication itself. The practice of “studying the masters” is also an old and respected one, and using this perspective we can take advantage of the opportunities afforded us in studying outstanding examples of commercial digital games as “educational” objects, even if they weren’t produced by professional educators. By examining successful games through this lens we can progress towards an understanding of the essential elements of ‘good’ games and begin to discuss the implications this holds for the deliberate design of educational games. There is, however, a caveat: knowing why a game is good is not the same as knowing how to make a game good. It is nonetheless an essential step in that process. This chapter examines some ways in which a few “good” games implement some well-known learning and instructional theories. “Good” games in this context are defined as those that have experienced both substantial commercial success and broad critical acclaim: the deliberate implementation of one or another learning or instructional design theory is not a prerequisite. In fact most will not have been consciously influenced by formal educational theory at all. The implications of this study include the notion that learning and instructional design are compatible with good game design and vice versa. Finally, this chapter will present some key distinctions between digital games and other learning technologies and what this might mean for the development of design models and methodologies.
Computer scienceGame designGames for learningGame studiesTeachingMethodologyVideo games
Katrin Becker, Video Game Pedagogy: Good Games = Good Pedagogy, Book Chapter (CH. 7), in Games: Their Purpose and Potential in Education edited by Christopher T. Miller, Springer Publishing, 2008.
Science and Technology