Friday, March 26, 2010

Journal 4

Gaming and Virtual World

Good video games engage in good learning and a game’s design is naturally connected to designing good learning for players. People primarily think and learn through experiences they have had, not through abstract calculations and generalizations. People store these experience in memory and use them to run simulations in their minds to prepare for problem solving in new situations. These simulations help them to form hypotheses about how to proceed in the new situation based on past experiences.

In other words, individual’s participation in social groups that supply meaning and purpose to goals, interpretations, practice, explanations, debriefing, and feedback, conditions necessary for deep learning from experience. Learning moves from identity to goals and norms, to tools and technologies, and only then to content. In addition, model and modeling are inherently tied to learning and exploration, since they simplify complex phenomena in order to make those phenomena easier to deal with for the accomplishment of goals, problem solving, and action.

Furthermore, games enhance learning, namely, recruiting distributed intelligence, collaboration, and cross-functional teams for problem solving; offering players ‘empathy for a system’; marrying emotion to cognition; being challenging while still keeping frustration below the level of the affective filter; giving players a sense of production and ownership; and situating the meanings of words and symbols in terms of actions, images, experiences, and dialogue, not just ‘definitions’ and texts read outside of contexts of use.

As I reflect myself as a mom, I regret that I had not let my son to play games much when he was in K-12, because I thought games were totally against for learning in many ways. However, I have learned that games possess a great deal of positive benefits in learning, and computer games or video games make people to get all above abilities in their own learning situation. I have had no interests in playing games, but as a contemporary teacher, I conclude that I need to travel to a game world to teach my future students more effectively and to understand all age level students.

In conclusion, ‘all’ students get benefits from games and MUVEs, and I am sure that minority students such as special education or ESOL(English Speakers of Other Language) students and boys get more benefits in learning.

Gee, James Paul. (2008). “Learning and Games." The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Edited by Katie Salen. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 21–40. Available at:

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