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Good Video Games and Good Learning

Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning and Literacy, 2nd Edition

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James Paul Gee

Good Video Games and Good Learning presents the most important essays by James Paul Gee devoted to the ways in which good video games create good learning. The chapters in this book argue that good games teach through well-designed problem-solving experiences. They also prove that game-based learning must involve more than software and technology and engage with the design of passionate-affinity spaces where people mentor each other’s learning and engagement. In the end, the book offers a model of collaborative, interactive, and embodied learning centered on problem solving, a model that can be enhanced by games, but which can be accomplished in many different ways with or without games.
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Chapter 9 Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game-Based Learning (with Elisabeth Hayes)

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▪  Chapter 9

Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game-Based Learning

JAMES PAUL GEE & ELISABETH HAYES

In this chapter, we will argue that to understand how gaming supports learning, as well as to design games for educational purposes, educators and scholars must think beyond elements of the game software to the social practices, or “meta-game,” that take place within and around games. Based on studies of fan sites associated with the popular computer game The Sims, we identify features of what we call “nurturing affinity spaces” that are particularly supportive of learning and contrast these features with how schools are typically organized. How such spaces are developed and sustained remains a central question for future research on games and learning, and we conclude by identifying key areas for further investigation.

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