While it doesn't necessarily mean that your cousin Billy was secretly your generation's Da Vinci because he was good at Pitfall on his Atari, the notion that video games are an art form continues to gain traction. Fans were convinced early, but now more and more critics and even educators are coming around. In fact, educators from all over gathered in Pennsylvania earlier this month at the EduGaming Conference to discuss the benefits of games-based learning and gamification. EdScoop explored these notions further in a preview article they wrote for the conference, noting how once educators get over some of the negative stigmas video games have earned, they can see some pretty amazing results with their students.
Experts say it is important to note that game-based learning and gamification are two separate trends. Game-based learning is the method of learning by playing an actual game, while gamification is the idea of adding game-like mechanics – like a reward or bonus system – to activities that are not explicitly games.
“I firmly believe it is important to have a repertoire of ways to deliver material to students, because every kid is different,” said Paul Darvasi, a high school teacher based in Canada who will be speaking at the conference. “I use literature, film and at least one or two games each year.”
While some stigmatize video games as violent or addictive, Darvasi has found a way to fully integrate gameplay in his senior English class curriculum. His students get to play the interactive video game, “Gone Home,” for one month of class time. The game prompts players to investigate a house to uncover its history in the form of a story. He finds that students are more engaged because, unlike reading a book, it is interactive.
“Video games are arguably the art form of the 21st century,” he told EdScoop. “They involve elements of drama, sculpting, motion picture and photography. Although they’re still shedding some of their stigmas, video games are to the 21st century what film was to the 20th and literature to the 19th [centuries]."Darlene Aderoju via EdScoop
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