Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
many aspirations of society regarding opportuni-
ties for learning, expression, creativity, and civic
participation and has therefore been integrated
into educational curricula, specially because it is
considered one of the competencies required by
an increasingly competitive labor market, that
favors certain sectors of society over others (the
info-excluded). In order to be successful in a
knowledge-centered society, an individual must be
able to determine what information is necessary,
to find it efficiently and to critically evaluate its
sources; that information shall be integrated in the
individual's knowledge base, so that his or hers
objectives are achieved and the socioeconomic,
legal and ethical variables that determine informa-
tion's use are understood.
Libraries have an important role to perform
as gateways to knowledge by promoting infor-
mation literacy skills. As archives of knowledge
and repositories of the achievements of the hu-
man spirit, they are an integral part of civilization
(O'Connell, 2008). For eras, librarians have played
a pivotal role, connecting people to information
necessary for academic, professional, cultural
or recreational purposes. School and university
libraries, in particular, have the key roles of stor-
ing information and providing a place for learning
and research activities. They are organizational
and educational centers for students, teachers and
researchers striving for academic success and try-
ing to meet the demands of modern society. In fact,
a link was demonstrated between library use and
student achievement (International Association
of School Librarianship, 2007).
have received the approval of natural selection
as educational tools for every creature capable
of learning. People commonly associate playing
games with children because they recognize its
fundamental utility in education.
Hannikainen (1997) showed children reflect
in their play many questions of existential nature
while trying to master skills corresponding to their
acquired knowledge. Perhaps that is the reason
why teachers consider play as the most important
activity for children development and learning
(Azevedo, van der Kooij, Neto, 1997). Leite and
Rodrigues (2001) also point out the importance
of game playing for intellectual and social devel-
opment in a context of education for citizenship
through active pedagogies, which differ from
traditional ones by focusing on ludic activities as
sources of both amusement and learning.
Nevertheless, it is possible to conceive educa-
tional games for all ages that aim to help players
in achieving a specific learning outcome. Leach
and Sugarman (2006) refer the use of games as
instructional tools in a variety of disciplines, as
well as an increase in knowledge retention by
students using an educational game compared to
those who received conventional instruction with
lectures and paper-based materials. More recent
studies (Tüzün, Yilmaz-Soylu, Karakus, Inal, &
Kizilkaya, 2009; Huizenga, Admiraal, Akkerman,
& ten Dam, 2008) also point out positive effects
of game-based activities on learning.
Smith (2007) showed information literacy
skills can be taught through games. This author
implemented simple gaming activities, such as
crossword puzzles and word searches in a course
on information research skills for academic credit.
It was an effort to integrate active learning tech-
niques to reduce student boredom and keep them
engaged in information literacy classes. After one
semester, 86% of students agreed the activities
were engaging and 95% agreed the activities were
preferable to a lecture-only format.
But why should academic libraries feel com-
pelled to take the initiative to teach information
COMPUTER GAMES IN EDUCATION
According to Leach and Sugarman (2006), “a
game can be defined as an activity that contains
some or all of the following elements: rules, goals,
challenges, fantasy, mystery, curiosity, competi-
tion, and skill” (p. 191). From observing the
natural world, Crawford (1997) concluded games
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