MMORPGs as Educational Simulators

It seems like only a year or so ago I was reading about the use of A Simple Life as a classroom simulation. The general idea was to take the game and structure meaningful instructional components so that students could move about a given area of the game and learn things socially and experientially. Now it seems to be more commonplace to develop educational simulations through these multiple-player online games.

I recall that the idea was considered a bit radical at the time, and even frowned upon because games apparently cannot teach anything. As a gamer and a teacher, I was always interested by this theory that playing games cannot teach you anything valuable. (Yes, I understand that there is a large contingent that supports the use of various types of games in educational settings.)

Some of the benefits of including games as part of your instruction include fostering problem solving, communication, and developing strategies. I’ve long held the belief that children who have become involved with TCGs are even learning some skills that will serve them well as adults: negotiating, assessing fair prices, networking

Found via Stephen Downes

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