Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
federal employees in the new National Incident
Management System for standardized response
methods dealing with terrorist attacks or natural
disasters; and Tactical Iraqi which uses artificial
intelligence and computer gaming techniques to
make learning languages quicker, more effective,
and fun for military personnel.
In terms of games related to business concepts,
which form the core of this chapter, researchers
as well as industrial practitioners have made
several attempts to create entertaining forms of
educating business concepts. For instance Zhou
and colleagues (2008) describe and demonstrate
an Internet based supply chain simulation game.
The innovation presented in this game stems
from a comprehensive set of supply chain (SC)
management strategies which can be tested in the
game. The key functionalities of the game were
designed to increase players' SC awareness, fa-
cilitate understanding on various SC strategies and
challenges, foster collaboration between partners,
and improve problem-solving skills. The authors
concluded that such a game could be used as an
efficient and effective teaching tool as well as
a research tool in operations research and man-
agement science. They also observed problems
and obstacles detected while engaging in the SC
business scenario game. Actions were proposed
and implemented to solve these problems, which
resulted in improved SC performance.
Another example very close to the spirit of
SimCompany is Disney's game Hot Shot Busi-
ness (Everett, 2003), a simulation game designed
to teach basic business concepts and encourage
entrepreneurship. The authors emphasized the
importance of play testing, with tight cycles of
design-and-evaluate sessions, which were crucial
to the game's success and to the development
process itself.
It is also well known that one appealing way
to motivate children to learn using technology is
to apply games, which are well known, exploiting
the power of popular TV shows. With the goal of
minimizing the amount of effort and requirements
to set up a situated learning environment, Lin
(2007) integrated scenarios of the popular video
game Pokemon in classroom education of 2nd
grade math concepts. Observations showed that,
in such arrangement, they could engage some
students into the scenarios where math is applied.
Since most children inevitably spend much time
playing digital games, it is argued that digital game-
based learning is one way to involve kids to do the
right things with computer (Lin, 2007). Lee et al.
(2004) performed a study to investigate whether
educational video games could be integrated into
a classroom with positive effects for the teacher
and students. They conducted the study with 39
2nd grade students using their mathematic drill
software “Skills Arena” (Lee et al., 2004). Early
data from the study suggested that not only do
teachers and students enjoy using “Skills Arena”,
students even exceeded expectations by doing
three times more math problems in 19 days than
they would have using traditional worksheets.
Regardless of the popularity that games exhibit
when it comes to teaching children, there is a
lack of research towards design approaches that
can prove useful when conceiving and designing
such games.
Conceptualizing the Educational
Game Experience
Papert (1996) refers that “learning is more effec-
tive when the apprentice voluntarily engages in
the process” (Papert, 1996, p. 43). The best learn-
ing experiences are the ones that “motivate and
are pleasurable” (p. 43). Motivating the learners
is therefore a crucial factor to increase the pos-
sibility of action and discovery, which in turn
increases the capacity of what some researchers
call learning to learn.
In this sense, the novel constructionist-learning
paradigm aims to adapt and prepare tomorrow's
schools to the constant challenges faced by a soci-
ety, which is currently embracing and accelerating
pace of profound changes.
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