Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
FASCINATION WITH COMPUTER
AND VIDEO GAMES
Learning (3D-DBL) was used to teach literary
and historical topic and they found that “3D
provides deceptive sense of cultural-historical
transcendence by allowing them to use their own
contemporary behavioral assumptions and at-
titudes in the game” (p. 4). According to Neville
and Shelton, the use of 3D-DGBL is problem-
atic because its virtual space can only produce
“remediated knowledge” (p. 4) which invariably
produces second hand knowledge under the il-
lusion of firsthand knowledge. The implication
of this could be that students may interpret the
knowledge they receive as an accurate historical
experience as Neville and Shelton noted.
The work of Sutherland, Connolly and Living-
stone (2007) has demonstrated that 3D game-based
learning may also be problematic. According to
Sutherland, Connolly and Livingstone, teams of
students with strong background in computer
programming are required to teach database
management and design skills using a virtual
yacht marina. The purpose of the project is to
create an environment that depicts what systems
analysts do in a real life situation. At the end of
the project, Sutherland, Connolly and Livingstone
observe that “the work each team produced, de-
spite being totally separated from each other in
time, was remarkably similar. In both cases their
work fell below the usual standard expected of
such student development teams” (pp. 20-21).
Sutherland, Connolly and Livingstone observe
that all the teams failed because it is difficult to
motivate students to create game for learning.
The implication of the authors' comment is far
reaching. The difficulty arises because the students
are required to design educational games that are
embedded on the reality of what system analysts
actually do and not on fairy tale. In spite of the
poor completion of virtual yacht marina project,
3D game provides opportunity for students to be
creative and imaginative.
Csikszentmihalyi (1990) has used the concept of
flow to explain how computer game players are
hooked on games to the point that nothing else
is important. Kirriemuir and McFarlane (2004)
have summarized the meaning of flow as a situ-
ation where players focus tremendously on their
games and less on the other issues in their lives.
The question is: why do game activities have flow
effect and why such flow effect is non-existent in
the learning process? The answer may to some
degree lie in the perceptions of the gamers and
the satisfaction they derive from game activities.
The problem for educational game developers
is to design learning environment in such a way
that students may experience flow effect. So far
such “flow effect” has eluded game designers
and researchers.
Most young people tend to find computer
games more appealing than studying. In computer
games, individuals involved understand that games
are make-believe activities; gamers like to live in
the world of fantasy. It is a way to escape from real-
ity and live in a world of trouble-free. The fantasy
of playing computer games can be described as
living in a castle in the sky. Jones (1997) observes
that games are engaging but the problem is to find
out why and how games engage players. On the
other hand, learning is about reality, accountability
and responsibility. Learners are expected to meet
the requirements of their courses. There is no such
requirement in game recreation except abiding by
the rules of the game. Some students shy away
from learning because of fear of failure. Schank
and Neaman (2002) recognized that failure may
inhibit motivation to learn. Students may gravitate
toward computer games because failure may be
seen as inconsequential. Dissonance can easily
be managed in game playing. As Jones explains:
In educational software, it is more difficult to
design for dissonance because ultimately we must
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