Complexity in Game World
In 2001, Marc Prensky titled his ground-breaking article, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” and here he defined the gap that rested between the majority of teachers and the Net Generation students pouring into the university, demanding a more relevant learning environment. I find the dichotomy revealing and thought-provoking.
I heard Prensky speak when the Center for Media & Community
held a live webcast event on July 27, 2005 entitled "Kids, Video Games & the Classroom.” One of the key points Prensky made during his presentation was the profound difference between mini-games (the kind with which digital immigrants such as myself are familiar) and complex games which embody the kind of learning environment he maintains we should be crafting for today’s students.
The PowerPoints were difficult to find so I pulled an article by Prensky called “Complexity Matters.”
Digital immigrants have a huge blind spot when it comes to how we perceive games – that is, as trivial and having no place in formal education.
The other segment of the “games” industry, and the segment wherein the magic rests, offer complex games. These typically require “tens of hours to concentrated attention to master” and can be described as:
As someone who failed at Myst repeatedly and finally gave up, self-esteem damaged by the attempt, I am intrigued by his defense of these games and his insistence that they must become “a key educational tool for today’s students and for kids in the future.”
Ideas worth engaging.
Posted by kbennett at July 30, 2005 09:08 PM
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