I like games, but I am not a gamer. When I wrote these words down, it seemed a little bit controversy to me, then I googled it. In Wikipedia, the term "gamer" usually referred to someone who played role-playing games and wargames. More recently, the term has grown to include players of video games. Meanwhile, the term “game” is a structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. To me, the definition for game is broader than gamer. Then I guess the reason why I feel that I am not a gamer lies about here. Like that night, Dr. Bonk asked us to work in team to write down our 5-10 points, posted on the wall, then explained to your audience who might be interested in your findings. Of course, when it is your turn to be the audience, you can choose to hear anyone’s findings that might interest you. All the process is an educational game, but were we “gamers”? Well, it is hard to say; probably I will use learners instead of gamers.
Speak of educational game, I knew there are some educational games before this class,, but I never had a chance to see how it works. And in week 11, Dr. Toh gave an excellent speech about her team designing a game for students in Thailand to study English. All I experienced from my life was that parents were extremely terrified of games, even when their children entered college. There are reasons why they feel worried; I’ve seen a lot bad consequences when some of my friends addicted to online games. They had trouble to pass their CETs (College English Test) in China, they even couldn’t successful graduate from university because they cannot earn enough credits.
However, as I reading “why virtual world can matter”, I realized games provide us with another aspect to think about our tradition learning.
But first, we should be clear about the definition of virtual worlds.
In this article, virtual worlds are defined as “present, avatar-based social spaces that provide players or participates with the ability to engage in long-term, joint coordinated action”
So what principle can we learn from games?
1. Instead of knowing knowledge, we should apply what we have learned.
As Cook and Brown said, “Knowledge in action”, players are not simply require knowing, but also applying their knowledge into action, games involved players work together to tackle problems, practice their skills. I think it conform to Bloom’s taxonomy, first knowing knowledge, and then apply your knowledge.
2. “Learning about” to “learning to be”
“Learners, it is assumed, first learn about something and then evolve into learning to be. But in game, gamers are engaged in an initial process of learning to be (learning to be their character in this case) and have been shown mechanism from getting assistance should they need help in learning about a particular task or ability.”
It sound irrational to use this method into teaching, but in my opinion, teacher can sometimes use this method. For example, when teaching pre-service teacher technology integration, we may show what technology can help them in the future teaching. So instead of teaching knowledge first, we are showing them future first!