Serious Games in Education: A Global Perspective

Serious Games in Education: A Global Perspective

Serious Games in Education: A Global Perspective

Serious Games in Education: A Global Perspective

Excerpt

This book attempts to address the current need for more theoretically and empirically founded knowledge about game-based learning in a global con-text.

Gaming is growing significantly in importance. It used to be mostly0 about entertainment; now it is about almost everything else.. Serious games have benefited from this omnipresence, but they have also helped drive the transition by showing that games can be so much more than the mindless computer games played by teenage boys. Over the last twenty years the value of the games industry has increased from 15 billion to 75 billion EU, and each week the population spend around three billion hours playing (McGonigal 2011). People play in a variety of different ways: on their phones, on their televisions, on Facebook, or elsewhere on the internet. The number of platforms, channels, and genres offered to all sorts of audiences is immense, and the games industry seems to have cracked the code for making gaming a mainstream activity.

Just ten years ago, games were perceived in a very different way. Ask somebody to think of a game, and ten years ago they would probably have said Counter Strike; today there is a much broader variety of games to choose from, though many people would probably say Angry Birds, which is a much more mainstream game experience. Throughout this expansion, serious games have played a large role and it seems unavoidable that they will continue to have a larger and larger impact on the game market. This is especially true with regard to the barriers preventing greater penetration in areas such as education and healthcare, and in the corporations. As these slowly succumb the market will grow even more rapidly. Market research companies support this; IDATE, for example, predicts a growth from 1.5 billion in 2010 to 10.2 billion EU in 2015 (IDATE 2010).

Even though the dramatic increase in the market has only happened recently, the idea of using game-based learning is hardly new. Throughout the last forty years at least it is possible to trace a continuous interest in the area, though its strength varies (Abt 1970, Loftus & Loftus 1983, EgenfeldtNielsen 2007). Looking over the landscape today, things look promising with many active research projects, conferences, and initiatives, as well as media coverage. However, one key challenge remains: the lack of game-based . . .

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