Video Games in Education Updates

On the games and education front, I appreciated this reflection from Dan Marchant, a game developer: Department of Education and Skills Game Summit

My personal view is that the government’s best efforts would be directed towards educating publishers/developers on how education department purchasing works (so that they can work out a viable business model) and how to track down educators who can work with them to develop great games that meet a school’s curriculum requirements.

I’d certainly like to be involved in something like that… once I get this dissertation finished. I’m deep in the literature review right now and find about ten post worthy things everytime I sit down to work on it. I did actually type this one up, though, I did a Will Richardson-esque find and replace (“player” for “student” and “learning-world” for “game-world”) on Richard Rouse’s lists of “Why Players Play” and “What Players Expect.” The result is what I consider good food for thought for designers interested in creating educational games – and, as Gee and others would suggest, for teachers preparing classroom learning experiences for their students (I added stars to the ones I’m most passionate about providing):

Why do students learn?

  • Students want a challenge
  • Students want to socialize
  • Students want a dynamic solitary experience
  • Students want bragging rights
  • Students want an emotional experience*
  • Students want to explore*
  • Students want to fantasize*
  • Students want to interact

What do students expect?

  • Students expect a consistent learning-world
  • Students expect to understand the learning-world’s bounds
  • Students expect reasonable solutions to work
  • Students expect direction
  • Students expect to accomplish a task incrementally
  • Students expect to be immersed
  • Students expect some setbacks*
  • Students expect a fair chance
  • Students expect to not need to repeat themselves
  • Students expect to not get hopelessly stuck
  • Students expect to do, not to watch (Rouse, 2005, p. 17)

I’d love to hear any reactions to this list in the comments. :)

And a final thought… the video Mike Guerena and I produced continues to have legs. Lately I’m seeing something like a post a week similar to this: Erwin’s Site – Games in Education


Rouse, R. (2005). Game Design Theory and Practice. (2nd Ed.) Plano, TX: Wordware Publishing, Inc.

2 Responses to “Video Games in Education Updates”

  1. Michele Says:

    I just found your blog and am very interested in talking to you more about your research. I’m working on narrowing my disseration topic down and one of my areas of interests is board games and entertainment education. My PhD is in communication and I would be looking at the values of the board game and what it intends to teach and test what the players are experiencing (what they’re getting out of it, etc.). I’m not sure if I’m going to create a board game and test that or test an e-e game that’s already out there.
    I haven’t read all of your posts but look forward to doing so. I think it’s great you’re keeping a blog to keep you on track with your disseration.
    Best regards,

  2. EDITing in the Dark » Exams and Death Says:

    […] If you think about exams as the high stakes equivalent in a student’s career as being equivalent to death in games (as I have, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this right? – and looking back through my backlog of starred posts, I think Mark was thinking like this as well when he was thinking like Will Richardson), take a look at Marty O’Hare’s article in The Escapist and replace games with courses and exams with fights or other things that can cause death. […]