Tag: Education

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We have discussed sandbox learning. We have discussed the use of scripted narratives in video games. Now, I will describe the process of emergent storytelling — or, perhaps more accurately, story-finding. This last design strategy attempts to mix the centrality of a player’s own decisions and creativity in sandbox games with the dramatic focus and […]

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What Video Games Can Teach Us About Narrative

 

Earlier this week, I addressed the potential for popular fiction to be compelling without being exclusively fun. Yesterday, I introduced the sandbox model of games, which offers opportunities for learning without direct instruction. Today, I will discuss instruction and persuasion through traditional storytelling and its translation into interactive environments.

The potential of traditional storytelling to offer insights or arguments doesn’t need to be explained. We are all familiar with the occasional power of novels and movies to make us consider, reflect, imagine, or feel. But it’s worth noting that not all linear fiction is focused on plot. Some stories are driven by events. Others are driven by characters. Even static settings can be major themes by themselves, which is why so many fans of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, or the Aubrey-Maturin series dig into lore and history in addition to enjoying those narratives. Sometimes, we are challenged to unravel puzzles and to anticipate the next plot twist. Other times, we passively enjoy witnessing the interplay between a group of delightful companions, without any expectation of final resolution.

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Learning In Games: Sandboxes

 

Yesterday, argued that that it’s more important for narrative art — be it literature, film, or video games — to be compelling, rather than fun or even enjoyable. Now, continuing my response to Ian Bogost’s article in The Atlantic, I will focus on one of the ways games and other interactive media can be educational or persuasive.

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Eric Wallace of podcasting fame directed my attention to an article by Ian Bogost over at The Atlantic. I seem to remember reading Bogost’s articles before or debating design issues with him on Star Wars: Galaxies developer Raph Koster’s blog. Skipping past all the liberal victim mongering, the focus of Bogost’s essay is how to […]

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A philosopher writing in the New York Times: Don’t blame postmodern philosophers for moral relativism. Blame the public schools. And there’s more. The article speaks for itself pretty darn well. I’m resisting the urge to add anything to it. Maybe better informed Ricochetti can add helpful things in response, perhaps along these lines: More

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Setting aside the commonality of broken and chaotic family structures, especially among the welfare class, the average family structure in modern America seems to involve the following: A household consisting of two parents and their children.  The children (hopefully) grow up and move out, establishing their own residences — often in a different city — […]

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Back to School

 

shutterstock_28662005How many people here have been to college more than once? By that, I mean that years passed between a first and second degree, perhaps even in unrelated fields. When did you go back? Why did you go back? How was it different the second time?

I didn’t make the most of my first college experience. Since I decided to focus my career on my writing skills, an English major seemed appropriate. One doesn’t need a degree to learn to write. But employers expect a degree. So there I was, grudgingly. That grudging attitude wasn’t helpful. Nor were the frivolous elective courses. And if any degree would do, I was stupid to pursue a degree in the Liberal Arts.

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If you’ve never heard of Youhanabad (“the City of John”): here. And, yes, there is a Forman Christian College in Pakistan. Please pray for them, and for the people of Youhanabad, and, especially, for the bombers. The bad news that started this: here. And the really bad news: here. But let’s call this the good news: More

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What’s Wrong With the Humanities?

 

good_booksThe supply of people with PhDs in the humanities vastly exceeds the demand for them. Why?

The explanations for trouble in the humanities I see the most are:

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I always understood the point of the tenure system in Universities. A professor may have an unusual point of view and may need protection from the prevailing winds. But I was surprised to learn that there is a tenure system in K-12. What controversial material is being protected via tenures in K-12? And all one […]

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