Edutainment is Dead: Long Live Learning Games!

Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, and Katie Salen have just published a paper: Moving Learning Games Forward.

With 60 pages strong, it’s more of a mini book than a “paper” – but hey, who’s counting?

I argued before that Learning Games should be the first pin we target in the Augmented Reality bowling alley (taking a page from Crossing the Chasm). I base my arguments largely on Eric and the Learning Games Network team’s work.

In this paper they speak about the role of play in learning and the freedom it entails:

game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail and problem solving skills, all behaviors that ideally would be regularly demonstrated in school.

And they touch on how Augmented reality games could contribute to the goal:

Augmented Reality games that embed students in realistic real world scenarios

Overall it’s a very well crafted case, with the breadth and depth to convince skeptics that games can, and should, change the way kids learn. It’s complemented with a fantastic set of references for related work.

Highly recommended.