- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 2nd edition (December 26, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1403984530
- ISBN-13: 978-1403984531
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition Paperback – December 26, 2007
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“Gee astutely points out that for video game makers, unlike schools, failing to engage children is not an option.” ―Terrence Hackett, The Chicago Tribune
“These games succeed because, according to Gee, they gradually present information that is actually needed to perform deeds.” ―Norman A. Lockman, USA Today
“James Paul Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy has been a transformative work. Gee might be described as the Johnny Appleseed of the serious games movement, planting seeds that are springing new growth everywhere we look. More than anyone else, he has forced educators, parents, policy makers, journalists, and foundations to question their assumptions and transform their practices. Gee combines the best contemporary scholarship in the learning scientists with a gamer's understanding of what is engaging about this emerging medium.” ―Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
About the Author
James Paul Gee has been featured in a variety of publications from Redbook, Child, Teacher, and USA Today to Education Week, The Chicago Tribune, and more. He is Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as "a serious scholar who is taking a lead in an emerging field" he has become a major expert in game studies today.
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This book is NOT a methods book. You will NOT learn techniques on how to design better games or better instruction. But you WILL learn how video games encourage deep learning (i.e., a deep understanding of the game and how to be successful) and develop critical thinking skills that players use to become successful at playing a specific game AND video games in general. You will learn that game designers deliberately develop deep learning and critical thinking skills, NOT to make players experts in zombies or war, but to set them up to be successful at playing the game and to have a great game playing experience. That gamers foster learning that develops self-esteem and self-efficacy through game play. Gee will also share his opinion of how the educational system might incorporate these elements in the classroom to foster critical thinking and deep learning of subject matter.
If you don't play video games, this book will give you insight in to the kind of learning that is deliberately encouraged in video games.
If you DO play video games, you'll develop an understanding of why the games you play are designed that way.
If you design instruction (or video games) you'll now have a framework and a vocabulary you can use to design and discuss those elements that make learning engaging and effective.
That's not to say that every video game on the shelf will meet the above criteria, but as James Gee points points out: many do. After all, if they don't, they're out of business. In the meantime, our educational system could really benefit from picking up a few of the techniques described in this book - ever wonder why so many "ADHD students" can't sit still in class, but then spend hours concentrated on a video game? Perhaps it's not the students, but rather the method of delivery and the content itself? The book offers 36 principles that are often found in great games, and which can help us build both better classrooms and computer games -- or, even better, classrooms with engaging computer games.
This books makes a great case for the principles of learning embedded in video games which are very very relevant in our knowledge intensive world.
It is no surprise that recently the corporate world is beginning to talk about "gamification" and "user experiences".
Highly recommended to anyone who cares about our education system!
I particularly appreciated his discourse on literacy and explanation of semiotic domains and where video games falls into these domains. Certainly this book provided me many ideas on aspecting and identity and how mutable these concepts are for people, particularly through an interactive medium such as video games.
Still he seems to only apply these learning skills to hard sciences, which reveals a tendency of soft science academics trying to find validity by likening their work to hard science. The fact is soft science academia and the humanities is not and never will be hard science...while applying some of the examples to hard science is necessary it'd be nice to see how these principles apply to the humanities and soft sciences.
four out of five stars