Games to empower

There are essentially three camps among educators who support the idea of integrating video games and learning:

  • those who are playing video games as a means to support student learning (e.g. Minecraft, SimCity Edu, Civilization, augmented reality simulations)
  • those who are creating video games as a means to support student learning (e.g. Scratch, Globaloria, Gamestar Mechanic)
  • those who are applying gameplay structures from video games to real world learning environments (i.e. gamification)

In this post I focus on the third approach, specifically on ways that intentional use of gamification can either empower or disenfranchise its participants.

Games are powerful

The idea of integrating video games into the classroom is exciting for teachers not just because games are fun or because kids seem to be willing to invest incredible amounts of time into them — in fact games model learning in some compelling ways.  Continue reading