Educational Gaming Observations

It was clear after last week’s Learning Impact Conference that the use of gaming for teaching and learning is a hot topic. Two of the areas of focus during the discussions were related to Second Life and content authoring. There have been two interesting recent developments related to these topics:

  1. After open-sourcing the Second Life client, Linden Lab has decide to open-source the server code as well. This now opens the door for some very interesting deep integration with other learning technologies. Will we embed the server in learning management systems like Sakai? This is fun to think about…
  2. We all agree that authoring engaging gaming content is a very difficult task. It will be a long time before instructors are building high quality games/simulations on their own. However, I do see some progress being made to make authoring easier and more ubiquitous: XNA Game Studio Express. This is a development environment for creating games that run on both Windows and the Xbox 360 console. The apparent goals of this project are to front load Xbox Live Arcade with a steady stream of innovative and independent arcade titles while lowering the bar to entry and making development fundamentally easier. However, I also see direct application to the educational space as well. Since this is all based on .NET, the code should be fairly portable.

What other interesting developments have you seen in gaming related to education?

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Technology

One response to “Educational Gaming Observations

  1. Ray Davis

    These Second Life developments are sweet!

    My two most heartbreaking jobs both involved trying to push open authoring for online multimedia communal environments, first at Kaleida Labs, and then at Stagecast:

    A fellow Kaleida Labs idealist ended up getting _his_ heart broken again when the Sims was forced to stay a closed system.

    It feels good to see it finally happening after all these years….

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