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Game on for learning

de Freitas, S. (2006) Game on for learning. Association for Learning Technology Newsletter, October .

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Since the earliest times, games have been used to support training and learning objectives (Coleman, 1971). The earliest games and simulations, for educational purposes, were in fact war games and this may partly explain the number of ‘first person shoot 'em up games’ available in the leisure games market today. With the development of computers and more recently the Internet, there has been increased interested in how leisure games and simulations can be used to support educational practices such as ‘immersive learning.’

Generally, simulations are used for specific training needs such as those required by the military, the medical and health professions or business. More recently, simulations and games have been used to practice scenarios and skills in advance of taking up professional employment. The trend for using simulations in this way has perhaps had an influence upon how games might be used for education and although these are clearly different forms, there are clear links between the two, not least historically. However while simulations are regarded as acceptable training tools particular ‘perceptions’ about games persist such as that they are violent and promote aggression; this has inhibited their inclusion in the tutor toolset. Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game-based learning presents the findings of a literature review with a set of case studies of game-based learning from everyday practice contexts.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
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