Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning, and Web 2.0
14. The Power of Games
THE POWER OF GAMES
In education, the discipline of game design and development—once little known in traditional classrooms—is rapidly growing in popularity. There are majors, minors, academic programs, inter-departmental initiatives, and entire colleges focused on game design and development at various levels. More and more institutions of higher learning are developing curricula focused on game design, electronic and otherwise, because games in society are pervasive, useful, curious, alluring, and available. Games engage people in many ways. Games entertain, motivate, educate, tell stories, resolve conflicts, solve problems, and even assist in healing personal ills, such as substance addiction and depression. Games exist in arenas as varied as business, entertainment, politics, science, marketing, medicine, advertising, journalism, sports, history, performing arts, ecology, and literature. Games seem to be everywhere, and they appeal to a wide demographic of players. Games know no geographical boundaries and are cross-cultural.
Another reason why games are popular in education is that the discipline of game design and development is complex, artistic, technical, and evolutionary. The discipline morphs and grows as technology changes. The constant inconstancy of new media is especially relevant here. With its constant learning curve, game design and development is a contemporary discipline that keeps education interesting, topical, and moving forward techno-creatively, while requiring both instructors and students to stay current with the latest design and production concepts and techniques. Balancing why and how is important in this discipline, because, in order for a game of any...
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