Sunday, August 22, 2010


The first article I read this week for my action research was  “Game design and learning: a conjectural analysis of how massively multiple online role-playing games (MMORPGs) foster intrinsic motivation.” Written by M. Dickey, it discusses the impact of virtual reality and collaborative games like SIMS and Second Life.  She defines them as MMORPGs or “massively multiple online role-playing game.” The difference in these types of games is that they are interactive and require not only the ability to follow the rules of the game and exhibit some skill, they also require higher order thinking skills in order to solve the problem posed by the game.
    Because the MMORPGs are geared toward solving problems rather than just reacting to stimulus, there are many instructional designers taking a second look at how to design learning games.

    The second article, “Linking Pedagogical Theory of Computer Games to Their Usability,” similarly to the last one argues whether gaming is relevant and what kind of gaming is best. Ang, Anvi & Zaphiris feel that there is much potential in using games, and that we need to focus on “learning through games rather than learning how to play games.” Therefore, we should be looking into how learners will interact with games and the effect of learning with gaming over time. (Ang, Anvi, & Zaphiris, 2007).
    The authors used a diagram, seen below to illustrate the typography of games, an how they should be analyzed. These 3 categories not only make up the typology, but sort them into groups as they are being studied. This is particularly interesting to my research project because as the types of gaming are broken down, it will be easier to see how they will affect behavior.
This is the diagram of typology of gaming

    The third article, written by Maja Pivec, is called “Editorial: Play and Learn: Potentials of game-based learning.” In the article, written in 2007, Pivec tells how learning environments have been researched and recently there has been a move to include the technology into those learning environments. The teacher has control over the environment and therefore needs to not only make changes to the design and structure of the physical room, but also make changes to the technology in that environment, making it more accessible and interactive. Pivec says that many teachers do not embrace the cognitive learning that modern commercial computer games can offer. (Pivec, 2007).
    I agree with Pivec that more teachers need to “get on board” in accepting the use of gaming as an authentic learning activity, and not just something to fill up the day’s schedule.

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