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Defining, Understanding, and Supporting Games Education
On the surface, it seems like teaching about games should be easy. After all, students are highly motivated, enjoy engaging with course content, and have extensive personal experience with videogames.
However, games education can be surprisingly complex.
This book explores the question of what it means to understand games by looking at the challenges and problems faced by students who are taking games-related classes.
It demonstrates how learning about games can be challenging for multiple reasons.
Some of the more relevant findings discussed include realizing that extensive prior videogame experience often interferes with students’ abilities to reason critically and analytically about games, and that students have difficulties articulating their experiences and observations about games.
In response to these challenges, this book examines how we can use online learning environments to support learning about games by (1) helping students get more from their experiences with games, and (2) helping students use what they know to establish deeper understanding.
“Zagal’s work is well-researched and delves into both theoretical questions about pedagogy and game education as well as offering some highly practical insights on how to think about helping students get the most out of their educations. Zagal not only has impressive scholarship, but he also has impressive methodology..”
—Suzanne Freyjadis, International Game Developers Association (IGDA Perspectives, August 2010).
“This is the first truly modern book in Game Studies, fully aware that Game Studies is a central 21st Century liberal art. Zagal’s book is a must read for anyone interested in games, learning, and society.”
—James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University
“This is an up to date and thorough review of the most important research on games and simulations, and how they can be learned and taught in the modern classroom.”
—Clark Aldrich, Author of "The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games", Lead Designer of Simulearn’s Virtual Leader
“Games are a growing cultural force, and making games is an industry of gargantuan proportions. But how do we teach about games? What are the challenges for learners and instructors? José Zagal is the first scholar to address this new area. This book provides both theoretical insights and practical strategies for those involved in the study of games.”
—Amy Bruckman, Associate Professor in College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
“Around the world, colleges and universities are launching video game programs. José Zagal’s book is the first study on the challenges of teaching academic video game theory to students who are gamers.”
—Jesper Juul, Visiting Professor in the Game Center, New York University