Tuesday, 14 April 2009
You can also find the article the video blog is based on here.
"Tangential learning is not what you learn by being taught rather it's what you learn by being exposed to things in a context with which you're already engaged in". This seems to fit in with something I've been thinking about for a while, namely that games seem to engage people who like games, and if that's the case then we do need more ways to get people 'tangentially' involved in other things. I guess what I'd like to know is, what is it that motivates that 0.1% of Final Fantasy fans to look up what a sephiroth is? Are they just more motivated than the rest of the players? Why? And doesn't this seem a little, well, shallow, in terms of learning? I mean I've played a lot of Civilization in my time but unless I really get stuck, I tend to ignore the Civilopedia and when I have looked at it, I usually just feel like I'm just skimming the articles as quickly as possible so I can get back to playing. Much in the same way I skim wikipedia articles I look up after being curious about references in films or even songs. Yes, I'm motivated by curiosity to look things up but I'm just not sure how much of it sticks....
So there are two things I want to take from this. The first is to do with the fact there seems little distinction between 'surface' and 'deep' learning when it comes to learning from games (to borrow terms from research on approaches to study). And the second is that there appears to be two sides to motivation: getting people interested in the first place and then keeping them interested. Again, I'm not sure that's something much of the literature of gaming has taken into account, and it's looking increasingly likely that I'm going to make a point of this in my own work.