2,275 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2016
    1. Affinity spaces are a ―fuzzy concept‖ in the logical sense that they are defined by fuzzy boundaries
    2. Affinity spaces do not have to be virtual
    3. ―who belongs‖ is simply to say that whoever enters the space (the fan site) is in the group and belongs.

      What about affinity spaces for professionals, especially those that require certification or credentials? Such as an affinity group for lawyers or doctors - would this still classify as an affinity group if group moderators deem who "belongs" based on credentials?

    4. ―group‖ is defined by a space in which people associate, rather than some readily identifiable criteria like registering with a political party or completing professional training.
    5. Imagine the transformation in schools if learning in school became about how to make good choices in science, mathematics, art, and civic participation

      But who defines what is a "good" choice? Teachers, students, collective class or group? Good choice is a moving target based on trajectory? Who decides what is a fair assessment?

  2. gamesandlearning.files.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.files.wordpress.com
    1. But ourstudy has taught us that the identities being crafted through game play are in fact real-world identities that are crafted as young people compare their actions in-game, and theirconsequences, with the consequences those same actions would have in the real world

      How do in-game skills transfer to real-world skills?

    2. At the beginning of the chapter, we referred to a perspective we called theseparate worldsview—the idea that games are a world apart from the real world where players can take onnew, and possibly transgressive, identities.
    3. This vignette involving Holly and Brandon also adds something to this account, throughits comparison of a learning arrangement between two siblings that is durable in the gamingsituation, and fragile—and a source of self-abnegation—in the homework situation.
    4. Gee has argued that this is, in large part, because gamedesigners have employed good learning principles, thus locating the locus of productiveagency primarily in the games.

      See last week's reading (Gee, Chapter 5)!

    5. We find this a strikingdifference when compared with her helping during game play; in the gaming situation sheknew equally little, and perhaps even less, about the content at hand, but in the case of thegame, her own lack of ability was of no issue

      I have to disagree. She didn't know little about the game. In many instances she had a game guide and she was also an observer, perhaps catching things that Brandon may have missed.

    6. MaybeI’ll learn something.
    7. At one point, after she handedhis textbook back to Brandon following a helping episode, he quickly handed her anothermath problem sheet. She responded with a tone of pleased and feigned exasperation, “I’mnever going to get out of here am I?” She clearly had no real need, at that point, to “get out of[there].”

      Is Brandon really learning anything if he's just handing his homework to Holly?

    8. What was similar between the gaming and homeworksituations was the sense of Holly serving as something of an ambient resource for Brandon;she was just hanging around, waiting to be asked for help, and offering it even when he didnot ask
    9. it may have beendue to the fact that Brandon was the better player and both knew that he was assessing thevalue of her suggestions and deciding on the basis of the in-game situation whether it wassensible to act upon or disregard his sister’s help.

      Why would Brandon be so willing to take his sister's advice if he was clearly the better player?

    10. Holly played the role of running commentator, seem-ingly in hopes that some of her narration would prove useful to Brandon, but she showedlittle distress or frustration when he failed to follow her suggestions.
    11. We often observed Holly with a game’s strategy guidein hand reading aloud sections she felt were relevant to Brandon’s play.

      Would you consider this cheating? Why or why not?

    12. Holly often assumed a coaching or caretaker role, oftenwithout invitation to do so from Brandon. In these situations, she actively assessed hisneeds and attempted to provide a resolution to what she saw ashisproblem.

      What does this attitude do to Brandon?

    13. Rachel also maximized her in-game funds by purchasing the minimum number of itemsnecessary to keep her zoo’s animals healthy and happy, whereas Katarina would add extrafeatures to the exhibits, like trees and rocks, that did little for her in-game bottom line butimproved the aesthetics of her zoo.

      A great example of differing play styles? What does this tell you about each girl's personality?

    14. Zoo Tycoon,

      Side note :I LOVE this game :)

    15. For example, during play ofBurnout 3: Takedown,when Tyler saw that his friend’s car was critically damaged, he pulled over to the side of theroad and waited for a fatal crash. This allowed Tyler to win the race, not by having to runlaps and risk taking more damage himself, but by default when his friend’s car was inevitablydestroyed

      Would you consider this cheating? Or a great example of how Tyler learned to manipulate the game (and his friend)?

    16. He is both an unabashed user of cheats, sporting a somewhat transgressive personalreputation he values at times, and, at the same time, someone who does not want his playwith friends interpreted as unfair—thus the overt display of his hands during the openingsequence to show his competitors that he is not entering cheat codes
    17. hese are,depending on your point of view, an example of the morally sanctionable behavior of“cheating,” or an acceptable part of play.

      How does "cheating" affect learning?

  3. Jan 2016
  4. gamesandlearning.files.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.files.wordpress.com
    1. In general, these vignettes collectively show how important it is to understandwhat goes on in-room if we are to understand how young people come to learn and playin-game.

      It's not just the game that matters, it matters what else is going on in the room. Thoughts?

    2. n Moment 2 (below) the disconnected controller, previously useless in-game, was againused by Andrew, this time more demonstrably, as an instructional device. As in prior vignettesinvolving other children in other families, we see young people organizing themselves toteach and learn together—in ingenious ways.
    3. After this early attempt,it seemed as though Johnny held the knowledge of the move, which they would needperiodically throughout the game. Just over twenty minutes after the early encounter withthe chimney, Evan stated that he had figured out a way to make climbing the chimney easier.
    4. Moreimportant for our general argument, we see another instance in which teaching is organizedfor learning during play (like the last vignette showing Mikey and sister Maddy).

      This a great example of peer to peer teaching using a game.

    5. Inessence, they managed to keep their play going while they demonstrated to each othersuccessive attempts to create and solidify the climbing move with the controller, in a kindof “on the job” learning.

      If you look at Bloom's taxonomy, it seems like these friends are following the pyramid exactly. Starting off with understanding and eventually "applying" their knowledge.

    6. fter a bit of disagree-ment about the problem Maddy was having (lines 3–8), Mikey took the game systemfrom her (line 11).

      How is the affecting Maddy's learning?

    7. It shows howMikey acts as a guide by providing advice to Maddy as she plays a game; it shows also, inher not taking his advice, that Maddy is playing an active rather than a simply passive rolein the apprenticeship and in her own learning.

      An important distinction between active and passive learning in regards to video games.

    8. Maddy:I’m just going to try it anyway.

      I admire her determination!

    9. oes it suggest a person who maintains control in the rest of her life,with game play simply another expression of this control, or might games represent a uniquecontext for its expression as compared, for example, with school, where she might have verylimited control of her our learning paths?
    10. Typically, in an innercircle in the room, Mikey and Johnny were at play, with Maddy at the periphery observing,often commenting, and sometimes entering play under the watchful eyes of her brotherMikey.

      How do you think this affected Maddy's learning?

    11. Further support for thisinterpretation of the way Rachel organized learning for herself as a video game player can befound in the fact that she generally avoided in-game tutorials

      As we read last week, game tutorials can be very helpful as you begin a game. Do you think Rachel's avoidance of the tutorials has increased her reliance on her brother?

    12. Her questions were extremely focused, relating toparticular game moves or to identifying unfamiliar icons on the screen.

      Growing up, I was the Rachel in my house (although I am the youngest). I would often ask for help from my brother, who would just grab the controller and do it for me. We often ended up in fights by the end of our play sessions.

    13. Unlikein other families in our study, siblings Rachel and Cory seldom played together because, asreported by Rachel, they had very different ways of playing.

      Why if they're playing the same games, for the same amount of time, and play in the same household, do they have different styles of playing? How does this affect their learning?

    14. earning arrangements

      Interesting choice in terminology.

    15. In order to better understand the question of how kids’ video game play is tied up intheir other activities, we also focused on one specific activity in the kids’ daily round outsideof game play—homework

      Can anyone share any experiences with their kids (or children they know)regarding their attitudes towards homework vs. video games?

    16. we see a persistent bent that analyzes video game play as largely disconnectedfrom the other moments and activities of people’s lives.

      How do you feel about this complete separation between video games and our tangible worlds?

    17. We recruited the participants through advertisements onCraigslist, flyers in gaming stores, and word of mouth.

      How do you feel about their recruitment strategy? Do you think it was appropriate for video games?

    18. Ecological validity is about having a basis to credibly claim that our researchaccounts are about how and what people do, learn, and think in daily life, and not simplyabout what they do within the context of contrived laboratory tasks.
    19. First, therearewidelydiffering views on the positive, negative, and noneffects of video games on otheraspects of life or learning.

      What are your views on video games and learning? Are some better than others?

    20. Learning scientists use the termtransferto refer to the phenomenon of taking what youhave learned in one context and transferring it to another.

      In what ways do we use "transfer" in learning?

    1. grade inflation

      A slightly off-topic thought I just had; If the Flynn effect continues (gradual increasing of individual's intelligence over time resulting in the renorming of IQ scores every few years), isn't grade inflation going to naturally happen if grades continue to be standards-based? Again, it's off-topic because this type of inflation is not "pernicious."

    2. That observation deserves serious attention because how a problem is structured makes all the difference in the world

      The structuring of "problems" will be a key theme in our Games and Learning course this semester.

    3. That is, even the best of educational games tend to be marginalized and channeled in the direction of extra-curricular activities.

      Is this still the case today? What do classroom teachers think?

    4. are not solely theoretical

      What other examples of games and play resonate with Fred's broader arguments?

    5. the act of asking good questions, guided by the construction and testing of theories, in a way that illustrates the very essence of the scientific method

      If people are interested in learning more about the importance of questioning and creativity to science and inquiry, check out Stuart Firestein's book Ignorance and a great talk, too.

    6. focusing attention on imaginative and efficient use of resources

      Has anyone played equations before? If so, please share your experiences with us!

    7. Equations: The Game of Creative Mathematics
    8. even in our secular schools, a tendency towards sectarian thinking.

      Here, "sectarian thinking" appears to take on dimensions that are not expressly political (though they could be), but also tied to rigid disciplinary boundaries, alliance for formal knowledge (and ways of knowing), and even perhaps what "data" and "evidence" counts to substantiate someone's "truth."

    9. a world where Gods collide and their followers depend with greater and greater certainty on the correctness of their God's solution

      Fred appears to be extending his critique, and core argument, to the broader realms of politics and social values. From debates about climate change to the current presidential campaign, this statement seems quite relevant today.

    10. Further, they learn that some kinds of problems are more important than others.

      Based upon your experience in school, or upon the experiences of children you know, how does formal schooling privilege some problems as more important than others?

    11. Therefore a puzzle-based education might not prepare people for life after school as well as a game-based education might.

      If you accept the basic premise of Fred's observation, what thoughts does this statement spark?

    12. There is an endless array of secrets that others know and you don't.

      Does this resonate with anyone's experience as a student in school?

    13. A game creator is "God-like"

      In this comparison a game designer creates conditions and means for players, but does not necessarily specify the only acceptable solution to a given problem for those players.

    14. The more you know about a mystery, the more mysterious it becomes. The more you know about a secret, the less secret it becomes.

      Do you agree with Fred's claim?

    15. not just in terms of whether a player's team wins or loses

      This is a rather nuanced and provocative point - a player, or a team can be successful in game play and not "win." What types of scenarios demonstrate successful game play as distinct from - or not exclusively reliant upon - winning?

    16. that does not have a solution

      In other words, puzzles have a single, pre-determined solution.

    17. School grades

      What level of school might Fred be discussing? While I might presume he was talking about elementary or secondary schooling, I think aspects of his argument are relevant to graduate school, too.

    18. Fred Goodman

      I first met Fred as a high school student. I grew up in Ann Arbor and Fred was a professor of education at the University of Michigan. Fred continues to influence many of my collaborations and scholarship, particularly my work with Jeff Kupperman.

    1. critical thinking skills that are not necessarily designed for passing standardizedtests

      This statement in and of itself is indicative of a much larger problem. Critical thinking skills should not be developed for the purpose of passing a standardized test. Additionally, different epistemological traditions have differing methodologies for defining truth. Taking a testing model that fits well into one tradition and forcing it into another is an inauthentic methodology for measuring knowledge/skills/understanding.

    2. a game has to communicate successfully to its players how to play, orit will, in some sense, fail to exist full

      This point is intriguing to me as it suggests a marker for when a game might need to be abandoned or revisited as a learning tool (if the learners don't understand the play structure). But I think this is often also a transformative point - how often do players then just make their own rules and forge ahead? This reminds me of Susannah's comment in the Games, gods and grades article; transformative points may be useful in that they can allow the learner/players to be more in charge of the game/problem. However, there is a lot to consider in how/why/when this may or may not work!

    3. Not only does heor she feel like the time spent playing is both valuable and meaningful, but he or she is antic-ipating playing again.

      I would argue that if the game doesn't have a save point early in the game, that some people might drop the game even though they enjoy it. I know I've played games where I play for an hour, and don't reach a save point and quit because I have to do something else. I ultimately don't return because most times I don't have 1 hour + to spend on a video game at a time.

    4. Long beforeMath BlasterorOregon Trailhit the market, games have been used as learningtools

      I would argue that since the beginning to man kind games have been used for learning. I teach my toddler many things by playing games.. games such as peek-a-boo, or hide and seek.

    5. providing newpathways for work in the field

      Which of these concluding questions from Salen resonate strongly with you, and why?

    6. to be critiqued
    7. but by the contract it establishes with players when they accept itsrule set and enter into the space of play

      This raises a rather powerful analogous question: How does formal schooling, if at all, establish a contract with students that they can accept - on their own terms - to then authentically enter a space of play, exploration, and learning?

    8. when we, in fact, need to look atplayers’ performance and understandtheirunderstandings of them.32
    9. tensions in distinction between the real and the virtual,in school and out of school, formal and informal, learning and teaching, knowing and being.
    10. Weknow, for example, that play is iterative as is good learning, and that gaming is a practicerooted in reflection in action, which is also a quality of good learning.
    11. what routes to policy change

      Regarding policy change, the US Dept of Education's recent Educational Technology plan mentions games and game play on many occasions. While this doesn't equate with policy change, it does indicate that policymakers are increasingly aware of the power of games and play.

    12. that make sensibleuse of digital media

      I argue that the sensible use of digital media in schools - and particularly games - is still very rare. We'll be looking at some exemplar "counternarratives" during Cycle 5.

    13. This strikes us as a fascinating social organization where adultswith particular interests/backgrounds/resources can serve as targeted learning brokers for the children
    14. Phil Bell,in his group’s study of everyday learning as it relates to science and technology, has foundseveral complex and fascinating social contexts that provide reinforcing conditions initiating(and sustaining) the gaming that is present
    15. Nichole Pinkard

      Pinkard is an acclaimed researcher, designer, and computer scientist whose contributions to Connected Learning movements, particularly the Cities of Learning effort in Chicago, is remarkable. Her research is complementary to our studies in this course, and may be of interest to students eager to explore media, gaming, and computational literacies outside of formal schooling.

    16. But as both Everett and Watkins and Pitaru show, entry into a broadecology of gaming is never a given. Many barriers to entry exist.

      Again, note the concern for equity.

    17. and new learning spaces

      This applies to the designers of new learning spaces in elementary, secondary, and higher education, too!

    18. Designers of cell phones, operating systems, and new learning spaces would do wellto learn from games. When the stakes are so high, a system can’t afford not to teach
    19. but to the entire tool-set available to the player within agaming practice

      This also includes affinity spaces

    20. Key moment Number Four requiressupport of acommunity of practiceon the part of design

      This course's use of public annotation-as-discussion, and the broader invitation for people interested in games and learning who are NOT formally enrolled in the course to read and participate, is an attempt to both design and support such a community of practice.

    21. Key moments1–4 infuse the ecology of gaming, creating feedback loops that cycle through levels of en-gagement, agency, mastery, expertise, and back again
    22. the power peer-to-peer learning affords the evolution of a knowledge sys-tem, and the range of guises in which such learning is currently cloaked
    23. Key moment Number Three requires support ofreflectionandinterpretationon the part ofdesigners
    24. Key moment Number Three occurs when a player turns to another and asks, “Wantme to show you?”
    25. Key moments Oneand Two are requirements of any good learning system, digital or otherwise. As a teacherIoften measure the quality of my own instruction within this framework. Key momentNumber Two requiresdepthon the part of design

      Salen's reflective comment on her own pedagogy and design resonates strongly with me. I, too, wonder how undergraduate and graduate students in this course will ask to play, and also develop deep investments in their own learning.

    26. gaming as a productive literacy drivesfeelings of personal agency, affecting both life and thought.
    27. many games players come to feel a sense of agency or ownership..
    28. he player feelsinvestedin the experience

      When in your experience have you felt invested in the experience of formal learning (ie schooling)?

    29. “Can I save it?”
    30. heframes the question of “Can I try?” as a conduit for social inclusion
    31. or a player who lacks confidencewill rarely choose to play, in the same way that a student who lacks confidence in his orher ability to read will tend to shy away from reading, and most certainly will refrain fromdemonstrating that ability in front of others.
    32. Can I try?”
    33. that gaming represents an ecologythat is tangled up in a range of other ecologies—social, technological, economic, political—and that learning how to activate gaming as one node within a larger network holds promisefor those willing to engage

      And engage we will!

    34. Although. . . we may recognize the learning potential of games, thisrecognition alone does not change the structural conditions that insist on the bifurcationbetween entertainment and education and correlate only academic content with educationalsuccess” (p. 114)

      The historian of educational technology and reform Larry Cuban has argued that schools traditionally co-opt innovative technologies to meet the established needs of schooling - such as staid measures of academic achievement. Arguments can be made that the so-called "integration" of games for learning within school co-opts the power of games, and sanitizes the creativity and expressiveness of game play for the traditional purposes of schooling.

    35. Having kept each of these concerns in mind, I did my best to create a volume that supportedcomplementary and contradictory perspectives without the weight of too much conceptualprejudice
    36. gaming-as-ecology I pushed the authors to explore the designand behavior of gamesas systemsin which young people participate as gamers, producers,and learners
    37. it is equally critical to address howplayers take on active roles in determining how, when, and why they learn

      Learner agency can quickly get shortchanged in conversations that focus too heavily upon tools-as-answers.

    38. and no two players ever experience the “same”game
    39. One cannotlearn about or from games without engaging in their play
    40. and many games take both digital and nondigitalforms. Play across media is one way games are mobilized within everyday activity.

      Transmedia storytelling and pervasive play are important reminders that the activity of gaming crosses media forms, platforms, sidewalks, and various realms of society and culture.

    41. Gaming can include interaction with nondigital media.

      How frequently educators and designers forget this when overwhelmed by the advocates of techno-determinism!

    42. of a need to identify the kinds of questions not yet asked, thekinds of research not yet done—the failings, in other words—of the current approach to afield that is only now beginning to take shape.

      I would argue a similar assumption undergirds Games and Learning because the field is still nascent, is still taking shape (or further fracturing), and because many questions about learning remain unarticulated.

    43. but by the ways that particular practices are in circulation with others. (p. 64)
    44. Gamers not only follow rules, but push against them, testing the limits of the system in oftenunique and powerful ways.
    45. thelusory attitude,the attitude required of playersin order to play.23

      Bernard Suits also discusses the importance of lusory attitude. My 2014 article with colleagues from the University of Michigan discusses the importance of lusory attitudes - we'll read that article during Cycle 5.

    46. a cognitive attitude tied directly to the creative, improvisational, and subversivequalities of play

      The design of Games and Learning attempts to create conditions that encourage a similar attitude in students.

    47. Gaming is play across media, time, social spaces, and networks of meaning; it includesengagement with digital FAQs, paper game guides, parents and siblings, the history of games,other players, as well as the games themselves.
    48. The concept ofgamingas it is used in the following pages goes beyond games, in the same waythatlearninggoes beyond the configuration of a classroom

      Salen's mention of a classroom configuration reminds me that there's a persistent tension associated with game operating as both a noun and a verb. Same with school. I address some challenges and productive conflict associated with this thing/action duality in my conclusion to the book Teacher Pioneers (which we'll read during Cycle 5).

    49. This is where the real work needs to be done to better understand the connectionsbetween forms of gaming and certain kinds of acquired knowledge and practice.

      This remains a pressing issue in the learning sciences, particularly when the relationship between certain games and the "impact" of learning remains tenuous at best.

    50. “Video games are not just stagesthat facilitate cultural, social, or political practices; they are also media where cultural valuesthemselves can be represented—for critique, satire, education, or commentary” (p. 119).
    51. ongoing tensions be-tween industry relations, distribution infrastructure, patterns of player/viewer engagement,genres of representation, social agendas, and educational philosophies.

      These are some rather significant tensions. In Cycle 4 we'll consider the recent gamergate controversy, and how one social critic in particular is speaking back against "genres of representation" and "social agendas."

    52. Acknowledging that gamesalreadyoperate as robust learning systems forces afocus on the intrinsic qualities and characteristics that guide the types of learning and newliteracies gaming and games advance.
    53. According to Constance Steinkuhler “Online technologies provide new opportu-nities for ‘anytime/anywhere’ social interaction, and the number of innovative curriculardesigns that incorporate online collaborative environments has been steadily increasingsince such technology first emerged.”17
    54. “We are just learning how toexercise that power—individually and collectively—and fighting to define the terms underwhich we will be allowed to participate.”16
    55. Henry Jenkins

      Henry Jenkins' influential work on participatory culture is a core aspect of Cycle 2.

    56. is antithetical to theway most schools currently operate

      Elsewhere, Kurt has written that games can "threaten the current order of schooling."

    57. and perhaps even from those of theirmentors or teachers

      Here's one intersection of equity-oriented and interest-driven learning.

    58. ames develop players’productiveliteracies, an ability touse digital technologies to produce both meanings and tangible artifacts.
    59. his does not bode well for those seeking a silver bullet toslay the games and learning beast. It does suggest, however, that ongoing work will need tobe done to design and support asetof gaming and learning frameworks for use by students,parents, teachers, and researchers
    60. on his or her own terms

      This is another indicator that equity is foregrounded throughout this volume.

    61. Jane McGonigal

      We'll consider a critique of McGonigal's latest book during Cycle 3.

    62. KurtSquire

      My dissertation advisor from UW-Madison, we'll be reading Kurt's work during Cycle 2 and Cycle 6.

    63. the contributors to this volume, each in his or her own way, sharesin the belief that exposure to the flexible rule sets and iterative, cyclical play embodied inboth design and gaming practices are critical for thinking about literacy in the twenty-firstcentury.
    64. nd toward an emphasis on creative production and the principles of design asastarting place and main area of emphasis with kids.
    65. Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobe

      Students who took Learning with Digital Stories last summer will certainly recognize these names!

    66. The meaning ofknowingtoday has “shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to be-ing able to find and use it.”1
    67. produce some of the most powerful, persistent, and problematic lessons about race inAmerican culture
    68. S. Craig Watkins

      Watkins has also contributed significantly to the development and study of connected learning efforts, a framework for learning and design complementary to many games and learning efforts.

    69. Playing video games is a kind of literacy. Not the literacy that helps us read books or write term papers,but the kind of literacy that helps us make or critique the systems we live in. . . . When we learn to playgames with an eye toward uncovering their procedural rhetorics, we learn to ask questions about themodels such games present. (p. 136)
    70. Ian Bogost

      While we won't be reading this chapter by Bogost, we'll read a few of his pieces on gamification during Cycle 3.

    71. Mizuko Ito

      Mimi Ito's contributions to media studies, games, learning and mobility is second to none. Her leadership of connected learning theory and programming, such as Connected Camps, may be of interest to some students in our course.

    72. theater games likeSibling Rivalrywere used in contexts rang-ing from activism to acting

      Anyone familiar with theatre games, such as the improvisational and embodied games designed by Boal? I'm increasingly interested in Boal's theatre of the oppressed, and the role of games in transgressive and transformative dissent and social change.

    73. nor a digital one
    74. As kids get left out—not only of videogame play but also of other digitally based experiences popular among their peers—they willcontinue to fall further and further beyond.

      As with Salen's concern, our study of games and learning will never shy away from considering the implications of equity.

    75. He argues that making digital games accessible to a wider audiencebenefits everyone by providing opportunities for play across communities.

      Notice how equity is being defined beyond either access or participation.

    76. Given the relative scarcity of empirical research on video gameplay

      This has certainly changed since this volume was published in 2008. We'll read a literature review that surveys more contemporary empirical research during Cycle 5.

    77. Stevens, Satwicz, and McCarthy follow with “In-Game, In-Room, In-World”—a captivatingethnography of young people in different families playing video games in their own homes

      We're reading this during Cycle 2.

    78. In this chapter, Geetakes on the intersection of game design and good learning, choreographing potential sitesof engagement between the two by drawing on contemporary work in the learning sci-ences.

      For students in INTE 5320, this chapter by Gee is a nice complement to the selections of his 2004 book we're also reading in Cycle 1.

    79. These chapters articulate a form oflearning ecologypresent inthe way kids game

      Note how the concept of a learning ecology is associated with "game" as verb.

    80. In the end we decidedto use them all; each name came with subtleties and distinctions that would have been lostwithin a unifying framework.
    81. We could not even decide on a shared nameto refer to our object of study—games, digital games, video games?

      This remains a concern in the field of K-12 education - what are people talking about when they discuss "games and learning"?

    82. from education, the learning sciences, film studies, technology, anthro-pology, game design, performance studies, computer science, and youth development.

      Note the breadth of fields concerned with games, gaming, and games in learning. In our course, we'll primarily draw upon literature from education and the learning sciences, not from fields such as anthropology or computer science. That reflects both a constraint of our course, and a recognition that "games and learning" means many divergent things to many different people.

    83. My goal, and that of the authors selected for inclusion,is to pepper this often black-and-white mix with shades of gray, pointing toward a moresophisticated understanding of the myriad ways in which gaming could and should matterto those considering the future of learning
    84. casts them as a Holy Grai

      And many, unfortunately, still do.

    85. in the sense of how all of the various elements—from code to rhetoric tosocial practices and aesthetics—cohabit and populate the game world. Purposefully broadin scope and multidisciplinary in perspective,Ecology of Gamesis intended to complexifyadebate around the value of games and gaming that has been, to date, overly polemicand surprisingly shallow
    86. who haven’t been invited to play

      Similar to Gee's (2004) introduction, this question foregrounds equity at the center of the entire volume.

    87. act as a point of entry or departure

      This is an important framing of gaming (and perhaps play) as a means, not an end in itself.

    88. gaming literacies,orfamilies of practice

      Do you have gaming literacies, or families of practices that routinely engage with while playing?

    89. present, missing, or reinforced

      This is wonderful language - expansive and nuanced. Following Salen, games may be designed to encourage learning, yet forms of learning may still be missing. Additionally, certain forms of learning may be reinforced, whereas other forms are not.

    90. wenow just call themkids
    91. hybrididentities

      What do you think Salen means here?

    92. across highly personalized networks

      Including affinity spaces

    93. An idea that to many seems new today turns out to have graced the lips ofresearchers some fifty-odd years ago

      This is an important reminder for designers, educators, and reformers who chase the novel, innovative, and "disruptive." Games and learning, as Salen traces succinctly in these few opening paragraphs, has been studied for decades.

    94. A virtue of gaming that is sometimes overlookedby those seeking grander goals. . . is its unparalleled advantages in training and educationalprograms.
    1. What’s hard about school is not learning to read

      I'm not sure I agree with this. As someone who works primarily with language learners, learning to read, not just regarding academic language, but in general, holds them back from reaching their full potential.

    2. do you?

      Oh, but I do! I'm a little sad this isn't what the book is about!

    1. ‖ (e.g., newcomers may be flamed when they unknowingly break a norm or fail to already know what they ―should‖ know).

      Has anyone ever experienced this and care to tell?

    2. If human learning and growth flourish in a nurturingaffinity space, then it is of some concern that school has so few features of such a space

      Sleep deprivation, stress, bullying, and many other negative influences tend to come out in school especially middle - high school. Assuming conditions could be improved by nurturing affinity spaces, what are some good suggestions for making school more like a nurturing space?

    3. Affinity spaces and other sorts of communities can give people a sense of belonging, but they can also give people a sense of ―us‖ (the insiders) against ―them‖ (the outsiders).
    4. What does ―belonging‖ really mean?

      Anyone one who enters the space! Anyone belongs.

    5. Of course, we will argue that a principle of good meta-game design is involving players as designers. That is, most positive social engagement
    6. Designing, thinking like a designer, reflecting on the interaction between design and human interaction (as in a game), and thinking of complex relations in systems (as in the rule set of a game and the way it interacts with players and they interact with it) are all 21stcentury skills (ZIMMERMAN, 2007)
    7. fan sites to discuss, critique, analyze, and mod the game

      Affinity spaces.

    8. Those of us who have made the claim that games are good for learning have meant, of course, that well-designed games are good for learning, not poorly designed ones.
    9. games that stress the involvement of players as designers in the first sense, by making game design a core game mechanic, facilitating modding, and encouraging robust design communities to develop around the game are, we believe, particularly good for fostering skills with technology,

      minecraft everyone loves it.

    10. Using the term ―group‖ over-stresses the people at the expense of the structure of the space, and the way the space and people interact.

      Interesting thought - people can assume as many identities or personas as they choose when interacting with online affinity spaces. Thus why it's also important to designate as "space" and not group to de-emphasis "people." Because many times, "people" in online affinity spaces are internet personas that may never leave the virtual space. In some sense strong personas become a permanent fixture in the online space because of the permanence of forums and postings.

    11. We will call such games big ―G‖ Games with a plus: ―Games+‖. We can claim that ―Games+ are particularly good for learning.‖

      I think Gee is turning this read into a game. Lets see if we can get +50DKP by the time we finish this text.

      Dragon Kill Points

    12. ―metagame‖ has been increasinglyused to describe ―‘the game beyond the game,‘ or the aspects of game play that derive not from the rules of the game, but from interplay with the surrounding context‖

      In social games like World of Warcraft, and because of the variety of different types of play one can engage with, Wow has rich potential for metagame play. Such as, role play servers, or RP, where players may join in a voice chat session, emote in game, and dress their character in certain fashions to play through acting or assuming a role in the setting of the game. This type of play including a chat session outside of the game in skype, curse, teamspeak, ventrilo, etc. would officially combine play in and outside of the game which Gee calls "Game." see below.

    13. that sets up game play; i.e., what comes ―in the box‖ or increasingly, is downloaded from the game distributor‘s website. We will call the social practices that happen inside and/or outside the game, the ―meta-game.‖ We willcall the combination of the two—game and meta-game—the big ―G‖ ―Game,‖ with a capital ―G‖ (see GEE, 1990, for a similar distinction between discourse and Discourse).

      ILT students who have taken Remi's Digital Storytelling course should recall "Discourse" from New Literacies

    1. The second thing RoN does to solve the problem of letting players know where the cutting edge of their competence is is to render the whole matter social.

      Interesting here how he sees the supports, including the community, as part of the game. Certainly it is part of his game play experience.

    2. a sandbox

      A sandbox tutorial seems different than a sandbox game. A sandbox tutorial keeps novices from experiencing the cause-effect algorithms of the game. In a sandbox game, a learner experiences open-world choices and isn't constrained by the game designer's narrative.

    3. the very design of the game

      ...the very algorithm written by some dude on a computer guessing about the learner's needs.

    4. Information is always given “just in time” when it can be used and we can see its meaning in terms of effects and actions.

      Information can't be given a little too soon, or in an unwanted way in this game? Surely this is a variable as game designers create games and surely they can be at risk of over helping and under helping.

    5. This never happens in RoN or any other good game

      Gee claims that learning in a meaningful context is vital and once again sees the simple system of a video game as an ideal compared to the complex systems of classrooms and schools. I wonder if a more appropriate comparison is to compare a good game to strong problem-based learning inquiry. In medical schools, a simple problem is created using a simulated patient or "Standardized Patient." This contextualizes the med students' learning better than traditional lecture or labs. I'd argue that strong simulations provide context and can exist in games and schools.

    6. failing to be able to learn and enjoy these sorts of games

      I'd interrogate this a little. Is he really at risk here when he's determined to learn it, he's built background about the genre and is wanting to publish his results? Instead, I'd say he's faced with a complex task because of his lack of experience with games. I'll take his point that the background we bring to learning tasks can put us at risk of abandoning those tasks or falling short of externally established learning goals.

    7. sorts of learning that goes on in schools

      This critical lens is important but it suffers if we fog up the lens with a generalization so broad that it is almost unapproachable.

    8. Like all RTS games, RoN involves players learning well over a hundred different commands, each connected to decisions that need to be made, as they move through a myriad of different menus (there are 102 commands on the abridged list that comes printed on a small sheet enclosed with the game). Furthermore, players must operate at top speed if they are to keep up with skilled opponents who are building up as they are. RoN involves a great deal of micro-management and decision-making under time pressure.

      Like all stories about history, this one is a narrative crafted by an expert authority. In this example, though, players experience the text as a series of choices framed by the algorithms programmed into the game. Can we critique these and mod them?

    9. Good video games are complex, challenging, and long; they can take 50 or more hours to finish. If a game cannot be learned well, then it will fail to sell well, and the company that makes it is in danger of going broke.

      The concept of a "good video game" now as compared to when Gee wrote this is interesting. How do we measure "good" video games today? How many copies it sells or how much money it makes? How much fun you had while playing it? Number of players, downloads, and so forth...? What are some recent examples of good games you've played and how do you measure it's quality?

    10. Perhaps, too, this exposure causes in some of these young people a critique of schooling as it currently exists

      Given the prior list of learning principles, is the critique of schooling-as-usual well-founded? If so, how given your experiences as a learner, designer, and/or educator?

    11. makes many schools look uninspired and out of touch with the realities of how human learning works at a deep level.
    12. However, it is clear that these principles resonant with what theorists in the learning sciences have said about learning in content areas in school.
    13. I believe that these principles would be efficacious in areas outside games

      Too frequently in contemporary discourse around games and learning, various individuals (whether designers, educators, or policymakers) presume that only (digital/video) games exemplify these learning principles. On the contrary, various designed learning experiences can reflect these principles - it just happens to be that many digital games demonstrate these principles particularly well.

    14. some of the learning principles

      Gee expands upon these principles in both this text (as a whole book) and his 2003 book on video games, literacy, and learning.

    15. Distributed and dispersed knowledge that is available “just in time” and “on demand” is, then, yet another learning principle built into a game like RoN.

      This is a key learning principle applicable to both games and learning, as well as the role of affinity spaces in creating and sharing knowledge associated with learning from/with games.

    16. distributed and dispersed across many different people, places, Internet sites, and modalities (e.g. magazines, chat rooms, guides, recordings).

      Note that affinity spaces are not exclusively "digital," but span multiple modalities, media, and everyday settings.

    17. An affinity space is a place or set of places where people can affiliate with others based primarily on shared activities, interests, and goals, not shared race, class, culture, ethnicity, or gender. They have an affinity for a common interest or endeavor

      Here's a formal definition of affinity space.

    18. see Chapter 6

      Students in Games and Learning will be reading about affinity spaces in complementary resources written by Gee and Hayes, though consulting chapter six (in this text) is grand, too.

    19. This social aspect of RoN, and games in general, makes RoN and other games the focus of what I have elsewhere called an “affinity group” (Gee 2003), and what I now prefer to call an “affinity space” (see Chapter 6)
    20. Online there is a worldwide university of peers and experts available to any player all the time.

      Again, a general reference to the notion of an affinity space.

    21. Every player knows there are an immense number of Internet sites and chat rooms from which loads of things can be learned and to which lots of questions can be directed.

      This is a veiled introduction to the concept - and social practice - of affinity spaces.

    22. The skill tests are, as they often are not in school, developmental for the learner and not evaluative (judgments carried out by authority figures).

      This important distinction between development and evaluation will appear again and again through our Games and Learning course this term.

    23. was that I had not properly evaluated my skills
    24. How do they know when they are ready to move on to the more rigorous challenges of the normal difficulty level and harder levels, as well as multiplayer play?

      Do they get a diploma like students do in school? Or an A+?

    25. Games cycle through periods of pleasurable frustration and routine mastery—a cycle of storm and calm

      Have you ever experienced such a cycle of "storm and calm" in the context of formal schooling? If so, what conditions created this type of learning?

    26. he pleasure of mastery
    27. The player has moved to a new level of expertise and will then eventually face a yet harder problem that will start the process all over again
  5. gamesandlearning.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.wordpress.com
    1. And because in the spirit of participatory culture – a key feature of many games, and a core commitment of this course – this blog is a forum inviting others interested in games and learning to connect with us, participate, and build shared knowledge. Welcome!

      I appreciate the detailed explanation of why you are using a blog. This paragraph hints at the benefit of thinking and learning in public. Is the public nature of your commitment something you might also highlight here?

    2. so download the Hypothesis browser extension

      Do you want to link to the hypothes.is quick start guide for teachers? It might save you some questions.

    1. course’s first cycle

      "Cycle" is also language we used in #clmooc to highlight the potential openness of concepts that we explored and also to suggest flexibility with the time structure of the collaborative work we were doing. Is there a cyclical nature to how this course will work? Are you pushing back against "units" or "topics" as organizational structures?

  6. gamesandlearning.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.wordpress.com
    1. know via Twitter and the hashtag #ILT5320.

      I think it is important that you have a suggested use for Twitter here. It points to the possibility for a public discussion of media resources. I wonder if this is something participants will appreciate being able to contribute to? How do you think they'll see the reading selections and load?

      Another idea: is there any benefit to embedding a tweet here that models how one written for this purpose would look?