Scholars have long applauded the affordances that games provide in improving education. In fact, research in the early 1970’s produced significant discourse on the topic with advocates acknowledging that games could be used to promote interactive educational experiences (Abt, 1970) and simulations could improve pedagogical practices related to the enhancement of student motivation (Greenblat, 1973). Fast-forward to the mid 2000’s, and enthusiasm toward gamed-based learning was in full swing. One of the most prominent supporters in this area, James Paul Gee, published several thought-provoking and well-reasoned articles explaining the ways in which games could positively impact learning.
Today, Gee’s work provides a useful foundation for exploring and understanding game-based learning and virtual world education. In one of his thought-pieces (2007), Gee hypothesizes that games are good for learning because of two primary reasons: first, many commercial games already utilize game-based learning principles supported by research from the learning sciences. Second, video games have a remarkably clear potential to be used for purposes beyond entertainment. Thus, he explores the question “are video games good for learning?”...
See the rest of this post and others I have written at the Edorble Blog.