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What type of social gamer are you?

The folk over at NakedPlay and Playnomics have just released this infographic describing 8 gamer archetypes and their motivations to play. The 8 they define are: Scientists – who try new things and apply learnings Politicians – who getting ahead by adapting to people Socialites – who connect to others at all costs Habitualists – who seek repetitive pleasure […]

The neurology of gaming

There is ongoing debate about how our brains respond to gaming.  I found this infographic from the Online Universities blog interesting. I particularly like the information about which parts of the brain are stimulated by playing video games but I think the jury is still out regarding the effects.  What do you think?

Social Learning and Games

In this final look at how each of the major learning theories relate to games, we explore the ideas behind social learning.  In the social and contextual approach to learning, the outcome is for the learner to become socially accepted and to be an effective member within a community.  This is what is commonly referred […]

Experiential learning and Games

Many theorists propose that we learn from our experiences that is, that effective perception and processing of experiences improves performance. Merrill suggests that the most effective learning environments have problem solving as their basis.  This trial and improvement, problem-solving covers four distinct phases of learning: Activation of prior experience; Demonstration of skills; Application of skills; […]

Constructivism and Games

Continuing my series on the relationship between the various learning theories and games, this post explores the idea of constructivism. From the constructivist perspective, learning is not a stimulus-response phenomenon as described by Behaviourism, rather it requires self-regulation and the building of conceptual structures through reflection and abstraction[1]. In constructivist theory, the learner takes an […]

Cognitivism and games

In this, the second part of my series on examining how learning theories relate to game play, I’m looking at the theory that suggests learning is dependent on mental capacity – cognitivism. Cognitivism replaced Behaviourism as the dominant learning paradigm in the 1960s[1]. Cognitive psychology proposes that learning comes from mental activity such as memory, […]

Behaviourism and Games

Recently I’ve been thinking about the relationship between Learning Theory and Game Design.  Clearly there are game mechanics that exploit particular learning traits and I thought it would be interesting to identify them. Researchers have long studied the way in which individuals learn.  Over the years, academics have proposed a number of theories to describe […]

What Games are Good For?

In spite of my criticisms of many educational games, I believe passionately in the potential of games to inspire learning. I don’t think that games are a panacea but they do have many characteristics that can make a profoundly positive impact on our lives.  The real educational value for gaming lies in four key areas: […]