Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Edutainment Games
I this context we argue that the transformation
of ODL curriculum and instruction processes
must be based on the new digital media capabili-
ties and its patterns of use by students, namely
through interactive and rich content embedded in
game-like learning experiences. For this to take
place we also propose the integration of games
and simulations with the existing e-learning stan-
dards and platforms used for online education.
Ideally, these educational games should be able
to coexist in environments that follow the learn-
ing objects model and have elevated pedagogical
value (Moreno-Ger et al., 2008).
These are games that usually combine education
and entertainment in a package that highlights
intended educational outcomes targeted at specific
groups of learner, very often targeted as youth
and children's games. Most edutainment games
currently in the market are not supported by em-
pirical learning evidence and thus it's difficult to
integrate them in an effective educational program.
Serious Games
These are games with many of the characteris-
tics of entertainment games but with intended
educational outcomes targeted at specific groups
of learners. The “serious” adjective is generally
applied to refer to products used by industries like
defense, education, scientific exploration, health
care, management, city planning, engineering,
religion, and politics. Put simply, these are games
with a serious purpose; the games may include
First Person Shooters (FPS), Role-playing Games
(RPG), Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, and
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (also called
MMOG or simply MMO). In most cases, these
are the games that will better integrate with the
ODL workflow.
Learning Attributes of Games
But what is the real potential for the integration
of games and simulations in distance education?
What are the expected benefits and shortcom-
ings in this specific learning context? It may
be important to note that not all games do all
things. Certain game styles and formats may lend
themselves better to different sorts of players and
objectives. For example, there are different player
experiences in single vs. multiplayer games, but
no one is superior for learning per se. It depends
on what the specific learning goals and player
behaviors are. Also, much like other entertain-
ment industries, games are experiencing genre
shifts as developers take specific traits from
multiple game styles to achieve desired systems
and play experiences. It is for these reasons that
the attributes and styles cannot be put nicely in
“boxes”, or fit a precise matrix for that matter.
There is considerable overlap.
The goal of the AIDLET model is to provide a
planning framework for development and inclu-
sion of game environments for learning, taking into
account familiar attributes of commonly referred
to game subtypes. Let's start first by identifying
the broader categories of games referenced in
educational game studies:
Location Aware Games
This rather new designation usually refers to
virtual experiences played out in real world
spaces. This last aspect makes the difference and
identifies the genre more specifically. In general,
contextualized clues can only be discovered via
real world spaces with the aid of GPS devices that
are becoming common amongst students these
days. Unfortunately, even with the advantage of
involving students in authentic real world tasks,
participation in groups, and frequent interaction
and feedback, these games are difficult to integrate
in an ODL workflow because e-learning students
are far away and dispersed geographically.
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