A few years ago a WoW avatar named Embir (a/k/a Lee Wilson, then a colleague at Pearson Education) approached me about the idea of using video games as learning tools. I’d had more than a passing interest in games since developing a MMOG concept prototype for Paramount Interactive and in a short time we partnered on a successful proposal to the company’s Innovation Fund, and got down to work.
One of the first things we discovered was the mountain of myths we’d have to overcome to get any traction with the then heretical idea that video games have a place in the classroom.
Fast forward several years: Although neither of us work at Pearson now we’ve continued to pursue research and due diligence, and have partnered on several MMOG research and development projects for the K-12 market. Earlier this year I wrote a piece on serious game engines and this week Technology & Learning published Lee’s new article about Video Game Myths.
Lee starts by describing how he started playing World of Warcraft with his kids (and occasionally with his colleague Ahuathil, er, Richard) while on the road.
I have since discovered a very vibrant community of academics, educators, students, and business types who agree that video games have a powerful potential for learning and training. As well, there is a growing body of practice, products, and research to support the notion that games are a valuable addition to the set of tools teachers are using in formal education.
The article continues to thoughtfully and convincingly debunk many of the myths we found when we set out on this quest. Don’t miss it, or the second installment which will be published by T&L next month.