Video Games in the Classroom?

James Gee, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Aug 28, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A good, intelligent discussion of the (potential) use of games in education. The participants avoid stepping on cliches and approach the topic with sound fundamentals. Many useful nuggets. Like this: "Games can teach facts well and certainly could be used for this without much change in schools. But the real potential of games is to get people to think, value, and act in new ways. A game like Civilization can get the player to see that history could have happened in different ways..." Some of the questions show that people still don't get it, though. For example, one person comments, "The question about their possible place in the classroom -- in a university classroom, I presume -- is another matter." James Gee is a lot more diplomatic than I would have been: "I do believe that education at all levels needs to get out of the four walls of a classroom and a rigid schedule of the same hours for each class not matter what it is." By contrast, this is a great question: "Can video games be an interface for distance learning? Is anyone considering or doing this?" Now you're thinking! And "I guess that my interest in computer games is embedded in a larger interest in the emergence of new texts and new literacies." Whee-hoo! Do read this transcript.
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