Serious games in education

J. C. Read
2015 EAI Endorsed Transactions on Serious Games  
Playfulness came into education at a later date. There are two main theoretical paradigms around play and both are relevant to a discussion around serious games for education. Modern theories aim to mainly describe the benefits of play, and classical theories tend to focus on the reasons for play. The classical theories include explanations for children needing play like 'surplus energy', [4] and 'restoration' [4] . Play as one preparation for adulthood [5, 6] is also considered important for
more » ... ildren to develop. Within education, there was something of a revolution when computers came into the classroom and when playfulness could then be associated with gaming, and specifically 'videogaming'. Playfulness could then be designed in such a way that playing could be packaged as learning. In his explanation of how digital gaming has pervaded classrooms, Egenfeldt-Nelson [7] describes the transition from 'edutainment,' which was where computers were mainly used in game like instances to provide drill and repetition, through 'learner-centred' products where the emphasis was on personalisation and individually adapting systems, to the most recent 'socially constructed' games where learning is situated in a context. Play has always had a close relationship with learning and is certainly essential to learning as far as young children are concerned, but the association of play with learning as learners become older is much less understood and is relatively understudied. In particular, the design of game based and play based This paper describes some of the tensions around serious games in education by considering how serious games might be designed for learners who may not be especially motivated to play them. Beginning with a narrative that sets out where serious games position within educational settings, with a focus on high school and college, the paper describes two elements that are considered essential for serious games for this demographic -fun and cool.
doi:10.4108/eai.5-11-2015.150614 fatcat:zs7ondupgve63isyn2tdnx275u