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Learning through Digital Game Design and Building in a Participatory Culture

An Enactivist Approach


Qing Li

This book discusses topics concerning digital game-based learning focusing on learning-by-game-building and Web 2.0. Grounded in the new theoretical perspective of enactivism, this book shows how such an approach can help students gain deep understanding of subjects such as mathematics and history, as well as undergraduate or graduate students’ learning of pedagogy and also adult driver’s learning of road safety rules. Written for undergraduate students in teacher education, experienced teachers, and graduate students, this book is an ideal text for courses related to technology integration and digital game-based learning. It is also beneficial for researchers, educators, parents, school administrators, game designers, and anyone who is interested in new ways of learning and digital games.
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Chapter 9: Learning by Game Building in the Twenty-first Century


← 198 | 199 → • CHAPTER NINE •

Learning by Game Building in the Twenty-first Century

Our world is changing. The emergence of virtual worlds, for example, the massive multiuser online game environments where millions of people live out a collective existence, is quickly changing the landscape of our world. Using Castonova’s (2009) ways of describing, for example, you can become immersed for hours and hours in a virtual world. In such a world, you, through your avatar, may see green trees, blue sky, and puffy white clouds. You may hear birds chirping, music playing, or even tigers roaring. You may live in a fancy house by the ocean beach with big coconut trees planted in your front yard. You may talk with your neighbours in this virtual village through texting, chatting, tweeting, or having a video conversation. You can practice various skills ranging from blacksmithing to yoga. In short, you can play, experience, learn, and interact with characters run by other human beings or by the system’s artificial intelligence engines. In other words, you can live with people in this virtual world just as if you were in a real world.

The number of people immersed in this virtual frontier is growing rapidly. Increasingly we live, work, socialize, and play in a virtual world. For example, according to Wikipedia, World of Warcraft was launched in 2004, and by 2012 over 10 million subscribers (World of Warcraft, n.d.-c). Facebook, a social media site, had one million...

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