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Lesson 12: Track B Summaries

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Schedule   ::   Lesson 12   ::   Track A Summaries   ::   Track B Summaries   ::   Appendix B

Kirriermuir, J.; The relevance of video games and gamin consoles to the higher and further education learning experience

Reading summary/quotes:

Kirriemuirgives an overview of the current state of games and the gaming industry, and then compares computer games, and game consoles.

This paper explores the current and possible future trends of the gaming industry (PC and Console) and the possible educational implications. Many aspects briefly mentioned.

“However, several factors including the emergence of cultural icons e.g. Mario, Sonic and Lara Croft, increases in game complexity and visual appearance, and massive sustained sales of games consoles such as the Sony Playstation and Nintendo Game Boy series, have led to video gaming becoming a significant part of contemporary culture since the mid-1990’s. The video gaming industry generates revenue of between 18 and 25 billion US dollars per year (according to various estimates), with development costs, revenue and use/audience comparable (and often exceeding) that of the movie industry.” (p. 2)

“Perhaps the starkest difference between PCs and games consoles is in the software and applications that are hosted by both. The PC is host to a wide range of applications, such as word processors, web browsers, office tools and database applications. Software on games consoles, until recently, has been almost exclusively games-oriented, with a niche of educational software [Gamerland]. Educational software is more common on PCs, which also hosts games (though these tend to be titles which make fuller use of the keyboard and other PC-centric peripherals).” (p. 6)

“For example, an electronic student can “blow” circuits in circuitry simulations, manipulate genetic material, or combine chemicals – in a safe and “virtual” environment using virtual materials that are infinite and freely replaceable. ... In addition to this simulation-based approach, games can also distort (or suspend) the laws of physics. For example, biology teaching packages can allow a student to speed up the growth of a plant or an unborn child or animal, in order to see how the entity develops over time. Civilisation-based games can illustrate, through “time acceleration”, how one political decision can impact all areas of society over time.” (p. 11)

Kiriemuis quotes from several studies and one of the things was that computer games don't 'replace' the teacher. The teacher must structure and frame the games so that learning outcomes can be achieved. This is an important point. Good instruction coming from a computer, and only a computer, is still a long way off. We still need the expert to facilitate and guide the learner.

Computer games are beneficial in:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Development of strategic skills
  • Development of team and social communication
  • Stimulating curiosity and encouraging exploration
  • Encouraging familiarity with technologies

Related articles/class discussions:

  • Games in education
  • Role of debriefing
    • When should instructional simulations be used
Contributors: Tom Caswell, Marion Jensen, Jennifer Jorgensen, Jon Scoresby, and Tim Stowell
Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Lesson 12: Track B Summaries. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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