It’s a small anniversary for Think:games, blog post #10! As always, more content is on the way, but I thought I’d use this blog post to quickly discuss how the Think:games project is doing, and sketch some plans and goals for the future.
As for my readers and followers, I can’t complain. My most read posts were the in-depth articles on The Stanley Parable and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, then there were the other articles (on MOBA’s and Fallout 4), and interestingly enough, my regular blog posts were read least of all. I decided on my blog schedule of around two posts a month because of the expectation that this would engage readers, but it turns out having less, more in-depth articles works better! Seeing these statistics, I will focus less on the blog and more on the in-depth articles in 2017.
Thanks to my collaboration with IndieWatch, I am getting more exposure both on my blog and on Twitter, and I am very happy with that. The key for me in 2017, however, will be not in particular to have a large following, but to connect with key actors in this relatively new field of games for education. Games4ed, as you’ll find it on Twitter, is very promising and I can’t wait to collaborate with anyone who wants to develop this (awesome but still too small) scene! Whether this involves developing educational materials, assisting developers, or teaching it myself, I’ll be fully dedicated to work towards more games in education!
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you want to or are already using games in education. But in a vast majority of schools, playing games as a regular part of class is little more than a fantasy. If you’re lucky, you can experiment with it in your own classes or even get support from the school, but still many schools ignore or even reject the idea that games can have a meaningful contribution to learning. This is why I dedicate this blog post to some of the reasons games may not be picked up by a school, and provide some counter arguments to them.
This blog post I will feature three games which prove that games in education works. I’m heavy on the philosophy and the idealistic future scenario’s at times, so let me cover three case studies from actual classes to compensate.
Minecraft: Education Edition
Image Credit: Minecraft Education Edition
This blog post will be a short discussion of a specific game, namely the prison simulator Prison Architect by Introversion Software. Because I don’t know yet whether there’s enough to it for a complete article, I’ll keep it short and describe two ways I think it could be used in education.
In my latest blog post, I’ve finally covered something else than philosophy, and this Reading the game article will do the same. Today, I will be taking a look at the general art of teamwork, and how teamwork in gaming can teach us about (and improve) teamwork in real life!
Although much has been said about recently released No Man’s Sky already, I can’t really skip it on this blog because there is simply so much to be said about it.
Let’s start with its recent release, that failed the high expectations of many and mostly caused disappointment. Developer Hello Games had promised players an infite universe to explore, with infinite amounts of different species, space-ships and planets. And that is what it gave them. Although No Man’s Sky‘s trailers gave some false impressions of what the eventual game would look like (as argued for strongly in this article), the game kept to its promise: it generates new content procedurally, so that the chances of the generated subject matter being the same in two different playthroughs are next to zero. This makes for lots of unique objects, but the objections many players raise is that when all of them still look like each other, they’re not unique at all. Grains of sand in the Sahara may be unique, but to humans it’s still just a desert.
I want to use this blog post to distinguish my project with Think:Games from the more widely known phenomenon of gamification. Since gamification is rising in education quickly, I thought it would be useful to emphasize the similarities and differences between the two, and give some thoughts on how they can support and complement each other.