Gaming Pedagogy

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Harnessing the Power of Games in Education by Kurt Squire and Henry Jenkins aims to show the versatility of games as a pedagogical medium through the games: Civilization III, Revolution, Prospero's Island, Environmental Detectives, and Biohazard: Hot ZoneCivilization III is not a new game, but it demonstrates how cities work and civilizations grow.  I found it very interesting that Civilization III ranked high on a list of MIT student's favorite games.  I envision the child in our Civilization III video becoming a genius now; I hope that he will.  Revolution is a newer game but it also provides a history lesson, albeit regarding short-term events.  Prospero's Island is a literary game that encourages self-discovery.  Environmental Detectives lets players conduct scientific studies, and Biohazard: Hot Zone offers an in-depth look at emergency response.  These games may touch on different subjects, but they all let the student explore the concepts on their own, formulate questions, and then discuss as a class and broaden the learning experience.  

I am particularly interested in the Environmental Detectives and Biohazard: Hot Zone games.  In science, research can take months if not years to test certain hypotheses, but classroom experiments are too short-term to fully grasp concepts.  Environmental Detectives might be a good in-between tool.  Through a previous job, I experienced the importance of having solid first-response planning in areas that people may not realize like flooding.  Biohazard: Hot Zone (or a similar game concept) could be a useful tool for planners in small and large cities.  I would be more inclined to play these games than try to figure out boring modeling software.  The possibilities are endless.

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