Kurt Squire on Video Games in Education

Video Games in Education (Via Kurt’s Research.) This aptly titled article, authored solely by Squire, includes a good deal that relates to the role of the teacher when using video games in education. These quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.

Motivation and Engagement

– [ ] “playing video games (in moderation) might actually have possible
social benefits” (Squire, 2003, p. 8)


– [ ] Video games allow learners to: “manipulate otherwise unalterable
variables… view phenomena from new perspectives” (Squire,
2003, p. 6)
– [ ] As Murray argues (1998) interactive digital storytelling should
emerge as a legitimate art form in the upcoming years, and video
games seem to be paving the way” (Squire, 2003, p. 9)


– [ ] Video games allow learners to: “pose hypothetical questions to a
system” (Squire, 2003, p. 6)

Socially Negotiated

– [ ] Video game playing occurs in social contexts; video game playing
is not only a child (or group) of children in front of a console,
it is also children talking about a game on the school bus,
acting out scenes from a game on the playground, or discussing
games on online bulletin boards.” (Squire, 2003, p. 10)
– [ ] video game playing is situated in social and cultural spheres
that are perhaps more important than the game itself.” (Squire,
2003, p. 10)
– [ ] gaming, fundamentally, is a social phenomena, occurring in social
groups distributed both through traditional social networks
(work, school, family) and through the internet. In many ways,
these groups resemble communities of practice; they have their
own practice (game playing), language, and socially acceptable
ways of behaving.” (Squire, 2003, p. 10-11)

21st Century Skills

– [ ] Video games allow learners to: “observe systems behavior over
time… visualize a system in three dimensions… and compare
simulations with their understanding of a system” (Squire, 2003,
p. 6)

Role of the Teacher

– [ ] “the cognitive potential of games have been largely ignored by
educators” (Squire, 2003, p. 2)
– [ ] “Bowman suggests that educators could use video games as a model
for improving learning environments, by providing clear goals,
challenging students, allowing for collaboration, using criterion
based assessments, giving students more control over the learning
process, and incorporating novelty into the environment”
(Squire, 2003, p. 4)
– [ ] “educators and educators have used simulations and games to
foster learning for decades, and many are already leveraging
advancements in gaming and technology” (Squire, 2003, p. 4)
– [ ] “However, the educational value of simulations does not
necessarily lie in the program itself, but rather in the overall
experience of the simulation.. learners need opportunities to
debrief and reflect, and the amount of time spent on reflection
should equal the amount of time engaging in a game or
simulation… Instructors play an important role in this process
fostering collaboration, promoting reflection, and coordinating
extension activities (Squire, 2003, p. 6)
– [ ] on games and lectures: “because each is a different pedagogical
technique which usually embodies different values on the part of
the instructional designer and is suited for different types of
learning experiences” (Squire, 2003, p. 6)
– [ ] “Educators can study this emerging for new ways to engage
learners in digital environments. For example, interactive
storytelling might be one way of “anchoring instruction”
(Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt 1993)” (Squire,
2003, p. 9)
– [ ] “Educators could benefit by studying these communities that form
around gaming, in order to understand what non-game elements
contribute to the engaging activity that is video game playing.”
(Squire, 2003, p. 11)


– [ ] Design experiments (Brown 1992), which examine how instructional
programs which employ video games could be useful for
instructional technologists” (Squire, 2003, p. 11)


Squire, K. (2003). Video games in education. International journal of intelligent simulations and gaming, 2 (1).