Gaming as Learning: A Paradigm Shift Required

I read three times for this text, and I have experienced such a resistance to comprehend what is going on in the content. What happened? I realized that I had such a strong bias towards gaming as a learning tool. I am not sure how this strong disinterest was generated, but it is still difficult concept for me to think gaming as a stand alone and solid learning device.

Of course, there are discussions about videogames can be considered as a new channel to learn something. Advances in gaming areas are much demanded in the market industry.  There are many questions and debates about creating good programs for learning. If we use games as a learning tool, then they need to be well combined in pedagogies and software development processes. Design-based approaches usually demonstrate how the medium functions and how people learn from playing with media. Studies related to gaming examine game-based learning design methodologies, practices to process, and theory.

Some research show that games play a significant role as a feature in the first line of technology trend, challenging the way we play, communicate, and learn. They are known to drive to the edge of consumer directed simulation, shared media design, and the internationalization of media. Gaming communities also stimulate media production, sharing experiences of spreading knowledge while constructing communities, and literacies with sample models and reproduction. They are examples of cultural practices that provide critiques of conventional educational practices as well as new representation for the social organization of education.

So what? How does this gaming pan out for learning history? Kids nowadays grow up with learning history. They often learn through historical simulation games like Civilization or Age of Empires as the article indicates. The culture of simulation tests and represents ideas, and communicated through interactive digital media. Yet we know little about how learning through such interactive systems changes players’ thinking and learning experiences. A tendency of gaming community is that participation in gaming often result in a path where players start as players but end up to be as designers, according to game play programming practices. Also, some several participants end up to get hired by game companies as a result of their participation. This type of participatory principle is common on learning systems in a digital age. Bottom line: new paradigms of educational systems are necessary if educational institutions want to adapt gaming as a learning tool in the digital age.

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