Just watch a kid with a new videogame. The last thing they do is read the manual. Instead, they pick up the controller and start mashing buttons to see what happens. This isn’t a random process; it’s the essence of the scientific method. Through trial and error, players build a model of the underlying game based on empirical evidence collected through play. As the players refine this model, they begin to master the game world. It’s a rapid cycle of hypothesis, experiment, and analysis. And it’s a fundamentally different take on problem-solving than the linear, read-the-manual-first approach of their parents. In an era of structured education and standardized testing, this generational difference might not yet be evident. But the gamers’ mindset - the fact that they are learning in a totally new way - means they’ll treat the world as a place for creation, not consumption. This is the true impact videogames will have on our culture.
- Will Wright, the inventor of The SIMS, in Dream Machines
High Score Education - Games, not school, are teaching kids to think
By James Paul Gee
Can Grand Theft Auto Inspire Professors?
The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 15, 2003
The Video Game Revolution: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked
By Henry Jenkins - PBS.org
Never Let Schooling Get in the Way of Your Education
A Dictionary of Video Game Theory
A Three-factor Model of Motivation and Game Design
See also: 2 Cents Worth - Video Games' Impact
By David Warlick
Because schools haven't adapted to the world their students know and live in, they simply get bored in the classroom. They tune out. You can get engagement, even among apathetic students, simply because games are constructed in a way so players want to finish the level. Games offer players the chance to make decisions, get feedback, level up and become heroes. That's how education should be organized. You learn more and more, you apply that knowledge, and you'll get a great job.
From What video games can teach educators about improving our schools
By Marc Prensky, Ode Magazine
As video gaming spreads, the debate about its social impact is intensifying.
From Chasing the Dream PDF version
There's no solid evidence that video games are bad for people, and they may be positively good.
From Defending Video Games PDF version
Grand Theft Education
Born With the Chip
Nine behaviors that differentiate today's students from their predecessors - fundamental differences in the use of information, personal interactions, and social values.
By Stephen Abram & Judy Luther
Library Journal, May 1, 2004