Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
bacteria, which seek to destroy each other. Many
programming games are considered environments
full of digital organisms, related to artificial life
simulations. Games that enable users to build
microworlds have been created at the MIT Medi-
aLab , and extensive research has been published
on this (e.g., programming of Lego robots and
Logo projects). The potential for use in ODL is
great and technology is often freely available.
Show , an open source game for Second Life (http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRVVrAp_64U)
Layered Reality Games
These games are representative of a new set of
experiences that consists of roughly three different
categories of games: Augmented Reality Games,
Hybrid Reality Games, and Alternate Reality
Games, mostly involving active engagement,
participation in groups, frequent interaction and
feedback, and connections to real world contexts
via GPS. This last aspect makes the difference and
identifies the genre more specifically but implies
that these games are more difficult to integrate in
the ODL workflow.
In general, research shows that learning
through games is possible by immersing play-
ers in relevant experiences, by modeling expert
problem solving, by providing guidelines to solve
a problem, and by structuring problems so that
the player builds on previous knowledge, which
are all features of powerful and well designed
learning environments (Bransford et al., 2000;
Gee, 2003). On a less positive note, according to
Huntington (2006), there are obvious barriers to
the development or adoption of educational games
in general. For instance:
Massively Multiplayer Online Games
A Massively Multiplayer Online Game (also called
MMOG or simply MMO) is a game capable of
supporting hundreds or thousands of players si-
multaneously. The most accomplished and famous
MMO is World of Warcraft , with many millions of
players all over the world, but in education this is a
hard choice to make due to enormous technologi-
cal demands (software, servers, technical support,
etc.). Nevertheless, there are a few multiplayer
games with educational intentions, in one example
(MEGG - http://www.cybertrain.info/megg.html)
there is capability to build an online multiplayer
educational game on any theme, with menus, text,
graphics and multiple choice quiz banks.
Virtual Worlds
Virtual worlds are one of the newer developments
on the Internet, with Second Life being the most
well known. The unique qualities of 3D virtual
worlds can provide opportunities for rich sensory
immersive experiences, with authentic contexts
and activities for experiential learning, simulation
and role-play, including the creation of complex
environments and scenarios. Hundreds of uni-
versity systems around the world use the Second
Life Grid™ as a lively part of their educational
programs. Many of the previous types of games can
be set up in a virtual world and take full advantage
of a 3D environment and its realistic interaction
modes. One recent example is SLOODLE Game
High development costs in an uncertain
market makes investment in educational
gaming innovations too risky for the com-
mercial video game producers and even
the educational materials industries.
Change in institutions comes slowly in
terms of adopting any new innovations and
as do making the necessary organization
and instructions changes that allow use of
new learning technologies.
There is unwillingness on the part of in-
stitutions to give up textbooks in order to
purchase educational gaming products.
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