Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
important social and cultural role and at the same
time favor the cognitive regulation.
Some types of games and technologies as-
sociated to digital games are already being used
as supporting tools to achieve learning goals in
formal education environments, either directly
or as an attractive tool for unmotivated students
(BECTA, 2003).
According to Prensky (2000) and Gee (2003)
games allow the development of new learning
strategies, based on new interactivity patterns,
like feedback, reflective and critical learning,
target levels of understanding semiotics, learn-
ing through discovery and exploration, situated
learning, role-playing and constructivist learning.
Regarding this problem, Grealls (2000) refers that
digital games enable the assimilation and the ap-
propriation of information, the construction and
the application of cognitive strategies, developing
various skills such as psychomotor ability, deci-
sions making and perseverance.
To Prensky (2000), the main benefits of gaming
are the users' capability of processing simulta-
neous information, leading to the development
of awareness of non linear information, which
is typical from digital natives (Prensky, 2001a,
2001b), as well as enabling the sense of belonging
to a non geographical community, which should
broaden the players' horizons.
Gee (2003) suggests that the didactic principles
involved in game based learning can change the
learning processes in educational institutions, ei-
ther in the relation between teachers and students
or in the institution itself, by turning the learning
process into something critical and active. To Gee
(Ibid.), games are structured in a way that encour-
ages this kind of reflexive, non passive learning,
through its design and the areas of semiotics
involved, which promotes the player's understand-
ing and establishment of interrelations between
semiotic areas. This allows the development of
a meta level of comprehension on these areas,
enabling autonomy, reflection, appropriation of
meanings, self learning and the improvement of
skills. This process is characterized for its coop-
erative environment and for the establishment
of relationships between affiliated communities,
which share one or more common interests.
Malone (1981), Ruben (1999), Garris et al
(2002) and Pivec e Kearney (2007) point out
the development of cognitive, visual, space and
memory skills that is provided by the usage of
digital games.
Limitations of Educational Games
Gee (2003) considers that digital games are so-
phisticated teaching tools as well as complex, long
and demanding. They demand different types of
previous and distinctive knowledge, making its
use rather hard in the school context.
At the Online Educa Berlin 2006, the potential
of the process of learning based on gaming was
discussed and several difficulties were identified
(Pivek and Kearney, 2007):
difficulty in finding games that include
contents from curricular programmes;
low tolerance from the community to
games, as the act of playing is understood
as a less serious activity;
the available technical resources at schools
are insufficient to support this kind of
learning.
Kirriemuir and Mcfarlane (2004) consider that
the main obstacles to the use of digital games in
a classroom context are the lack of relevance for
the curriculum, the lack of scientific precision of
the contents and the lack of consistency between
the duration of games and the schedule of com-
puter rooms.
Balasubramanian and Wilson (2006) refer that
there is a certain apprehension from the teachers
in developing computing activities, since they
can expose their technological vulnerabilities to
the students.
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