Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gaming for learning

I listened to a spirited talk on the cultural and educational benefits of videogames on Wednesday. Mitu Khandaker (University of Portsmouth) made a solid case for the possibilities for problem-solving and managed to dismiss the moral panics around shooters and 'the dark side'. Perhaps the claim that videogames are 'the culmination of all previous artforms' is a little strong, and certainly premature, but her overall explanations were helpful and delicately shaded with first-hand experience. She had an interesting take on immersion, which resonated with what is often said about fiction-reading - you are both 'in it' and simultaneously aware of the artifice. There was also a welcome acknowledgement that some games are more powerful (better? educational?) than others. The BBC is not supposed to be a platform for advertisement, but the description of her own game Redshirt, set me googling. It looks good, and I now know what a redshirt is! Double whammy.

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