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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Science Fiction Foretells the Darkside of Games for Learning

If you are looking for a glimpse into the mentality of the upcoming gamer generation and the future of e-learning but also want to be entertained. Consider checking out the book Ender’s Game which provides a compelling and, sometimes scary look at learning and gaming in the future.

Ender’s Game written by Orson Scott Card is a scary look into a future in which the Earth finds itself preparing for a battle against an alien race. To prepare for the upcoming battle, young boys and girls are recruited from Earth, taken to a military space station where they engage in a series of military games designed to prepare them to think about the multiple dimensions of space and how to out maneuver opponents in such an environment. The main teaching tool throughout the entire book is the use of games both virtual and physical.

I listened to the audio version of the book and liked it so much, I bought a hard copy. I have two boys who play video games all the time so the story of Ender and his brother hit home and then when Ender was fighting his final battles in space…it is really a moving story. I suggest you get yourself a copy and read it while thinking about how powerful and effective games are for teaching and molding behavior. The book is entertaining but also, I think, a parable outlining some of the darker aspects of virtual games. This is especially compelling given the emphasis the United State and other militaries have on using games to train and prepare troops.

If you’ve read the book, please feel free to leave a comment to let others know what you think about it.

If you are interested, you can find out more by clicking on the book cover below.


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