Using Simulations as a Starting Point for Constructing Meaningful Learning Games
Author(s)Klopfer, Eric; Purushotma, Ravi Krsna
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For many school administrators and decision makers, the term “video games” holds numerous cultural associations which make their adoption in the education space challenging. Additionally, the term is so broad that it can sometimes be difficult to communicate explicitly a desire to build learning experiences that go beyond the Drill and Kill edutainment titles that currently dominate most people’s perceptions of educational games. By contrast, the term “simulations” is often well respected among educators, particularly in the natural sciences. With “simulation” already being a full genre of video games, it would seem natural that researchers are beginning to explore the overlaps between simulation games and pedagogical goals that go beyond those found in Drill and Kill games. In this chapter, we survey some of the relevant research concerning both simulations and video games and outline practical pathways through which we can leverage the interest and frameworks designed for simulation construction to facilitate the introduction of video game concepts and experiences into the classroom environment. In particular, we report on the use of Starlogo TNG, a graphical programming environment in which kids themselves can create simulation-based video games, for deepening children’s understanding of scientific concepts.
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Computer Games and New Media Cultures
Klopfer, Eric, and Ravi Purushotma. “Using Simulations as a Starting Point for Constructing Meaningful Learning Games.” Computer Games and New Media Cultures (2012): 603–617
Author's final manuscript