Friday, June 27, 2008

Video Games for Teaching and Stories

Two particles from the spheres that are interesting. First Virtual Learning: 25 Best Sims and Games For the Classroom:

Video and computer games aren’t always associated with their educational value, but as virtual media grows and develops, educators are finding that games are a great way to get children engaged in learning while still allowing them to have fun in their classes. Not every game is well suited for the classroom, but there are loads out there that have something of value to teach, guide and grow the interest of kids both inside and outside of school.

and the [online] world waits for Spore, the next big thing from the creator of The Sims, Will Wright. An interesting analogy in connection with Spore has been made by the New York Post; "Spore is anticipated as much as James Joyce's Ulysses was in the 1900's." While this statement is inaccurate in many ways (think Katherine Mansfield's infamous reaction and this statement: “but Ulysses was a moral thunderstorm, with a universal world war and the noise of all its engines of destruction shocking through it." - The Irish Statesman 4 July 1925: 529), the correlation between a now canonical literary text and a massive simulation computer program indicates a discursive direction in the medium. Wright himself elaborates on the possibilities as he sees them in an article on Gamasutra:

"I do believe that games can be a form of artistic expression," Will Wright said, "a co-collaboration between player and designer. We have yet to prove we can do meaningful things with this form of expression, but I believe we are at the cusp of a Cambrian explosion of possibilities [referencing the geological era in which complex life flourished]. We are a couple years away from being respected as a form of expression, but it's not a battle we need to fight. We'll win anyway."

Wright betrays a technofile and essentialist position (marketing??) towards what has already been done with "this form of expression". It is, has and will happen Will. But not as a sudden "Cambrian explosion of possibilities " (which actually lasted over 100 million years).

No comments: