Mary Ulicsak, Ben Williamson
01 June 2010
Aimed at teachers and those interested in using games with an educational intent, this handbook aims to provide some useful anchoring points for educators to make sense of the area and to develop practical approaches to the use of computer games as a medium for learning.
It is assumed by some that the models games employ lead to learning, as young people effectively learn how to play without necessarily being explicitly taught, doing vast amounts of reading or interacting with others; while others see games as boring, tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive.
Both of these viewpoints can be true: as stated the impact of a game is dependent on the game itself, but also the player, circumstance of use, mediation of the teacher and other players. In fact, many academic researchers of young people’s uses of digital media argue, counter to the hype, that computer games have been insufficiently well researched as a medium for learning.
In this handbook we aim to summarise not only the key theories around why they are considered to have potential, but how they have been used in the past, how they are used for learning in a family context, what attributes lead to learning, and considerations for using them with young people.