Thursday, 31 January 2008

Why people play games

I found this a little while ago:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6932785.stm

It struck me as interesting because it suggests that what is we find 'fun' about games is the learning process we engage in when we play them and the opportunities they give us to see the results of our efforts. The article implies that people actually enjoy learning; something that seems similar to what Papert is referring to in his introduction to Mindstorms when he talks about falling in love with gears. So, instead of thinking about games in terms of how we can 'make learning fun' by 'harnessing their motivational power' (c.f. Futurelab review), maybe we should be thinking about them as successful learning environments which can be compared to areas of education that aren't.

3 comments:

Juliette W said...

Have you read Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design? It's a lovely little book and is all about how what makes games fun is learning.

Jo Iacovides said...

Hi Juliette
No I haven't, though I've heard about it recently. I have read Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach us about Learning and Literacy, which takes a similar view. Or at least he argues that games produce better learning conditions than you find in many schools. Will definitely have a look - thanks for suggesting it!

Juliette W said...

If you have problems getting hold of a copy let me know and I'll bring my in. I'm loathe to let it out of my hands for too long though!