As games, particularly virtual worlds, become increasingly popular and as they begin to approximate large scale social systems in size and nature, they have also become spaces where play and learning have merged in fundamental ways. More important is the idea that the kind of learning that happens in the spaces of these massively multiplayer online games is fundamentally different than what we have come to consider as standard pedagogical practice. The distinction the authors make is that traditional paradigms of instruction have addressed learning as “learning about,” while these new forms of learning deal with knowledge through the dynamic of “learning to be.”It is the authors’ contention that the experiences offered within virtual worlds provide a fundamentally different way of thinking about learning that may provide some keys to the development of future pedagogical practice.
Abstract from Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown ‘s The Play of Imagination in the 2007 edition of Games and Culture.
Teens who play video games on school days read and study less than their non-gaming peers, a new study finds. Teen video gamers spent 30 percent less time reading and 40 percent less time doing homework, according to the study, which is published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Read this item from Forbes and a contrarian perspective from Ars Technica
This article looks at the specificity of the image within contemporary video games and examines what might be thought of as the distinct qualities of a game gaze that is different from the cinema gaze. This necessitates a consideration of the specific temporality of video game play where the aesthetic is generated in a maelstrom of anticipation, speculation, and action. Video games prioritize the participation of the player as he or she plays, and that player always apprehends the game as a matrix of future possibility. The focus, always, is not on what is before the player or the “what happens next” of traditionally unfolding narrative but on the “what happens next if I” that places the player at the center of experience as its principle creator, necessarily engaged in an imaginative act, and always orientated toward the future.
Abstract from Barry Atkins’ What Are We Really Looking at?: The Future-Orientation of Video Game Play in the 2006 edition of Games and Culture.
The video gaming industry is poised to overtake the music industry in the US, with global spending on video games surpassing music spending as soon as this year, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC released the data in its annual “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook” report covering 2007 through 2011, which outlines expected growth in the entertainment, film, music, and video game industries, among others.
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Not much more than a week after an American Medical Association report recommended that Internet and video game addiction be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the committee that authored the report has backtracked. Prior to a debate at the annual meeting of the AMA, where addiction experts weighed in on the issue, the group concluded that the issue needs more study.
Read this item from Ars Technica. Previously from WNM: Games, why we play them, love them, hate them and increasingly incorporate them into our lives.