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Good Video Games and Good Learning

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

Series:

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 7: Looking Where the Light Is Bad: Video Games and the Future of Assessment

Extract

ƒ Chapter 7 Looking where the Light Is bad Video Games and the Future of Assessment James Paul Gee and daVid WilliamsOn shaFFer There’s an old joke: A man parks his car on a dark street and drops his keys while trying to lock the door. So he goes into a bar nearby to try to find them. It’s so dark on the street, he thinks, that he’s better off looking in the bar where the light is good. It’s a funny joke…or so we thought until we realized that all of us who study video games and learning have been in a bar for the last decade, looking for our keys. besIde tHe pOInt We’ve argued before that video games are good for learning (Gee 2003, 2007a & b; Shaffer 2007), and by “video games” we mean any game played on a computer or game system, online, handheld, or otherwise. Video games are good for learning because games can create virtual worlds where players solve simulations of real-world prob- lems and in the process learn real-world skills, knowledge, and values. Video games are good for learning because parents and teachers can use commercial games to stimulate discussions of important social, intellectual, and academic subjects. But interior_Gee.ind 69 8/21/13 2:23 PM 70 | Good Video Games + Good learning most of all, places where people learn—whether in schools, corporate training cen- ters, summer camps, or living rooms— should, we argue, become more game-like. Why should schools and other learning...

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