This is the second in my "Games I Got for Christmas" blog postings explaining how games can be used for learning or how they are becoming easier to use or...just how much fun they are to play.
The first posting was for Uncharted Drake's Fortune. The game was a lot of fun and very cinematic but it was only a one player game. Not much family involvement.
Rock Band on the other hand got the entire family involved.
The game (for those non-rockers) involves each person having a specific instrument. In our case, one person plays the drums (color coded to match our PS3 controller), one person on guitar and one person sings.
All three band members work together to successfully complete a song. If one person fails, another band member can help save the song but if two people fail, then the song is not successful. What a great way to teach teamwork. I spoke to a musician who said that guitar playing in video games is NOTHING like playing a real guitar so no learning transfer there...too bad....but, he said that the drums are not too far off.
Implication for Learning Professionals
Imagine a scenario where an organization takes a complex piece of machinery and creates an interface and controllers that are similar to the actual machinery and a new employee learns using that type of simulation. What an effective learning tool.
Or, if you are doing a team building exercises, introduce Rock Band and use it for teaching a group to work together. All types of interesting uses can be developed for these types of interfaces.
While the field is not quite there yet, we are getting closer. In fact, last year I went to a medical device manufacturing company that used haptic devices to help train surgeons how to implant medical devices.
The surgeons watched a video game-type interface and used an "instrument" to virtually perform the surgery. When using the instrument, the learner/surgeon feels resistance and vibrations as the haptic device is used. In fact, I could feel the grinding of the bone as I overused the grinder.
Recommended Games and Gadgets