Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three Types

According to Moreno-Ger et al.'s article titled "Educational Game Design for Online Education," there are three ways to use games for educational purposes.

  1. Add multimedia to activities focusing on content (edutainment fits in here)
  2. Use off-the-shelf games like Sim City and Civilization
  3. Something between these two extremes where a game is specially designed to balance fun and learning

According to their further description, my games are closer to the first category, and have been labeled as "dead ends." I think this is arguable. I would have a very hard time justifying a game that is only 20% educational to a professor whose class I was teaching, and non-gamers wouldn't like this format if there was a very high learning curve. Furthermore, development of such a game would be light years out of my budget and technical skill.

I don't know any games that could easily be used for the second category in library instruction, but I don't think games in the first category are necessarily that bad when played in class. At least a librarian can start small and build on experience, and it's certainly more fun for the students than a worksheet.

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