Nicola Whitton from play think learn has just published a post with some thoughts about how gaming has changed in the past ten years, and how these advances in gaming could inform learning.
Serious Games challenging us to play a better education
Here are the op Five gaming innovations of the past ten years (in no particular order), according to Nicola:
1.Interaction - the range of ways in which players can now interact with games using touch, voice, motion, balance boards, bongos, microphones, pens, steering wheels, musical instruments (to name but a few) is changing the ways in which games are designed and increasing the accessibility of games far beyond the traditional gamer market.
While the majority of these methods are limited to consoles or dedicated handheld devices, it can’t be long before such peripherals are more widely and cheaply available, and we can start to think more widely about how different types of interactive technology could be used in learning.
2.Casual Games - sites such as shockwave and bigfishgames have helped bring games to non-traditional gamers and make them more widely acceptable.
Games that are easy to learn, split into bite-sized pieces, and simple to pick-up and put-down have made gaming something that can be fitted around other activities. Genres such as time management, matching games and hidden object are popular, and I think there are lessons to be learned here in terms of narrative design, sustained motivation and the chunking of activities to fit in with other real-world tasks.
3.Mobile, location-sensitive and Augmented Reality Games - while the use of GPS and handheld technologies is already keenly discussed withing the educational technology community, Nicola thinks this is an area of games that hasn’t yet been fully exploited.
The potential for real-time multi-player gaming in ‘virtual’ spaces in the real world has yet to be really explored, along with the educational opportunities this affords. For example, she can image a ‘real-life’ crime scene investigation with multiple locations, characters, props and players working together to collect and analyse evidence and clues. Once the technology gets there these types of game will be limited only be the imaginations and organizational abilities of the designers and players.