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#6400155 Jul 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM · Edited over 4 years ago
Envoy
45 Posts
Mission: You have been given briefing reports on the inhabitants, their language and culture.

If you were to utilize a game under a controlled environment (such as a classroom) what from their culture would you use? Or what would you leave out?

Is there other documentation that you would add to briefing reports.
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#6401869 Jul 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Initiate
19 Posts
While it sounds a bit like a cop-out, I have to go with "it depends"

I'd consider how many learners in the cohort are already gamers and talk the talk. Are students here to learn to play the game or to learn from in-world experiences - how much time should be spent getting everyone onto a level playing field?

There are certainly options here - pairing gamers with non-gamers, setting up a glossary?, running an optional orientation session in advance - but I think it's important to make sure that newbs aren't quickly discouraged by being thrown too quickly in the deep end.

That said, with a classroom full of relatively confident gamers, I'd still be a little nervous about dropping too many terms for fear of eye-rolls and patronising glances from the kids who know how 5 minutes ago my terminology is. (Beyond "timeless" terms like pwned or w00t perhaps?)
My (occasional but getting better) edugaming blog: www.gamerlearner.com
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#6407377 Jul 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Guides
561 Posts
I talked to my classes (Sociology 101) and (Cultural Anthropology 101) this afternoon, after watching "Second Skin" on the culture of World of Warcraft (nice documentary, expensive to buy now) and we agreed that it would be a great game if we could have about 50 participants, and have them about 1/2 of them be say, tribal members where the other 1/2 are say, ethnographic team that is to go out and gather information like kinship charts, subsistence, marriage patterns, etc., by going into the "village" and meeting and interviewing village members and come back into the real world to do the report. Ah, dream on grasshopper!
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#6409502 Jul 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts

+1 for it depends. It's hard to say without seeing the population of gamers.
I would probably brush up on my sociolinguistic, Sociocultural and ethnographic research methods in order to prepare for this though :)

#6401869 colsim wrote:

While it sounds a bit like a cop-out, I have to go with "it depends"

I'd consider how many learners in the cohort are already gamers and talk the talk. Are students here to learn to play the game or to learn from in-world experiences - how much time should be spent getting everyone onto a level playing field?

There are certainly options here - pairing gamers with non-gamers, setting up a glossary?, running an optional orientation session in advance - but I think it's important to make sure that newbs aren't quickly discouraged by being thrown too quickly in the deep end.

That said, with a classroom full of relatively confident gamers, I'd still be a little nervous about dropping too many terms for fear of eye-rolls and patronising glances from the kids who know how 5 minutes ago my terminology is. (Beyond "timeless" terms like pwned or w00t perhaps?)

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
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#6415804 Jul 19, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Initiate
4 Posts
Sorry for joining late, just heard about the MOOC yesterday. I am in agreement with the others who have responded. I think it really depends, and that it depends on a lot of variables. I think that things that must be taken into consideration when thinking about such as the game that is brought into the classroom, ( what genre of game), the classroom subject as well as the class demographics. I think that certain genres of games lend themselves better to certain class/subjects, and that in that vein of thought, just like a specialist language for a particular subject i sneeded, would also be similar to the game language that you might need to bring in for that class. I know I often suggest teachers do an initial inventory of their students game interest and knowledge and make the needed connections from there. This can be done with a simple questionnaire at the beginning of a unit, which also gives you an idea of your students' knowledge of the material that you want to cover as well as their game knowledge. Sorta like an anticipation guide is the best way to describe it.
Hannah R. Gerber
www.thewritegamer.com


"We do not grow into creativity, we grow out of it--or rather, we are educated out of it." Sir Kenneth Robinson
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#6416296 Jul 19, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Initiate
4 Posts
ah yes, it actually does depend, but I also think it depends on how many different culture are there in the classroom and what type of class is it?

If it were a language classroom, and full of at least ppl who like games. I'd like to see how they play the game first.

Would love to track patterns of culture they represent through games and how they value the patterns. I guess everything else for me starts after the data gathering.. hehe
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#6417847 Jul 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Curator
69 Posts
#6407377 grasshopper98 wrote:

I talked to my classes (Sociology 101) and (Cultural Anthropology 101) this afternoon,... we agreed that it would be a great game if we could have about 50 participants, and have them about 1/2 of them be say, tribal members where the other 1/2 are say, ethnographic team... Ah, dream on grasshopper!



Grasshopper98,
There is a simulation game called ecotonos that does some of what you are looking for. Participants form "cultures" based on a set of prinicples they are given. Things like communication directness, team work, orientation to time. They then work in separate cultures to solve problems and then come together to work in a cross-cultural setting with the attendant commmunications issues. It does not have the ethnographers but I am thinking you could mod the simulation to include that as well. I did the simulation as a part of some management training I did some years ago.

Here is an overview from Exploring Culture: Exercises, Stories and Synthetic Cultures via Google books. The company site is http://www.nipporica.com/prod.htm

Speaking of the meta-game there is a small and not too active user group of facilitators of the simulation.
**************************************************
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in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
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#6422116 Jul 20, 2012 at 08:57 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Guides
82 Posts
Hannah's reply is admirably precise, and I might just build on it a bit. In addition to the necessary questions she lists, I would say we should also ask:

1. Why introduce a game to begin with; and
2. What is the learning objective.

Can anything be taught using a game? Should things be taught using games? Why use a game, and what results do you expect?

If you are conscious of having a very strong reason for using a game, and you have a game that is very strongly suited to your content and objectives, then by all means, use a game!

However, I still can't quite get comfortable with using COTS in classrooms. I doubt I ever will. The remarks that follow relate to a college-level classroom.

I see a student body as a vulnerable population. It's bad enough that we take their money in the form of tuition. That's a necessity in so many ways, but we still ask them to pay to work -- a very, very unusual set-up.

But then, on top of that, we strip them of huge sums of money for textbooks. We put them in a position in which they must prop up a corrupt and crumbling academic publishing industry. And we let them know they will fail if they don't pay.

Do you then feel comfortable insisting, in addition, that they scare up even more money, this time for a game, and perhaps even a game console? They can't say no, remember. They have to pay to play.

Vultures crowd around students and they don't see students, they see $$. I think teachers should defend their students. So I tend to prefer the DIY approach to gaming.

Moving beyond that somewhat rant-ish but deeply-felt commentary, I would add this. If I have determined that a game would be suitable to my classroom, then I would give the students an introduction to gaming in advance. I'd take them through the dynamics of a game with which they are very, very familiar. It's the game we call higher education. (This section of any class is called "going over the syllabus.")

Most students know how to play this game, even if some of them are more adept than others. Once they realize they are already playing a game, they can then have a decent discussion about other aspects of their lives that are gamified, e.g. their part-time jobs, or their relationships with their banks.

As far as the language of gaming is concerned, again, bear in mind that we have students in classrooms. Language arts aren't something we should assume. We teach the language, and we make it clear that it's a language. Then we practice it.

And that's my Friday night sermon!

:-)

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
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#6427111 Jul 22, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Initiate
5 Posts
Probably, as being a non-gamer I would be careful in using a lot of terms in classroom. Maybe make sure that everyone's on the same page and go through some basic terms? So, I would definitely not even try to use all of those hard core game terms from the vocabulary list. I would try first a 'demo-class' to see how much potential there is to upgrade the level of games and then have an 'actual' class, you know, so everyone wouldn't feel stressed out about a new teaching method. At the same time, you can have a sneak peak in who's an actual gamer and who's not, so they could help each other during the class maybe. What I would be concerned in the classroom, is how to make sure all the students are going to understand the reason why the game is used in class. Is it just fun to play a game or will they get a light bulb-moment why something is taught by a game? Also, how to encourage those non-gamers to be exited about a game? So therefore, I agree with Beth, there's no point on using a game/games in classroom if there's no purpose on doing so. Otherwise, it can damage the teaching.

I really liked the writing about games and higher education, since being a student myself, it is very current topic at the moment. I absolutely agree that educational institutions are slow to change. Seriously, even though I study Education and should be aware of all of the new cool teaching methods and pedagogical tools, I'd never heard about MOOC's or games based learning etc. before last week! PS. Really enjoyed McGonicals TED-talk!
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#6433197 Jul 23, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
What we've done to see what students were gamers - was to give an electronic tech survey at the beginning of the semester. Many of the games-based learning assignments were group projects so we were able to make sure there was a self-identified gamer. We also used to do this when it came to mobile devices with Internet access. We would make sure that each team had at least one person. This has become less of an issue now.
twitter @kzenovka
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Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
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