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Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning and Literacy

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This book discusses a broad range of topics concerning video games, learning and literacy. These include the ways games can marry pleasure, learning and mastery through the sense of ownership, agency and control players enjoy when gaming, as well as controversial issues surrounding games. The book explores relationships between values, identity, content and learning, and f This book discusses a broad range of topics concerning video games, learning and literacy. These include the ways games can marry pleasure, learning and mastery through the sense of ownership, agency and control players enjoy when gaming, as well as controversial issues surrounding games. The book explores relationships between values, identity, content and learning, and focuses on how to understand and explain many young people's differential experiences of learning in gaming and schooling respectively.


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This book discusses a broad range of topics concerning video games, learning and literacy. These include the ways games can marry pleasure, learning and mastery through the sense of ownership, agency and control players enjoy when gaming, as well as controversial issues surrounding games. The book explores relationships between values, identity, content and learning, and f This book discusses a broad range of topics concerning video games, learning and literacy. These include the ways games can marry pleasure, learning and mastery through the sense of ownership, agency and control players enjoy when gaming, as well as controversial issues surrounding games. The book explores relationships between values, identity, content and learning, and focuses on how to understand and explain many young people's differential experiences of learning in gaming and schooling respectively.

30 review for Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning and Literacy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I typically enjoy books which are a collection of essays on similar topics. However, when the collection of essays is by the same author, the benefit of a collection of essays (the differing viewpoints from different authors) is nearly entirely lost. Each of the essays in Good Video Games and Good Learning is written by James Paul Gee which leads to each of the essays being very similar to the last one. He collected all of his essays on this one topic and put them together in one book. However, I typically enjoy books which are a collection of essays on similar topics. However, when the collection of essays is by the same author, the benefit of a collection of essays (the differing viewpoints from different authors) is nearly entirely lost. Each of the essays in Good Video Games and Good Learning is written by James Paul Gee which leads to each of the essays being very similar to the last one. He collected all of his essays on this one topic and put them together in one book. However, there in lies the problem, they are all eerily similar in content. I read about the same 15 facets of a passionate affinity space in at least five of the chapters. There was hardly a need for this book to be made because each essay offered the same general insight with only minor differences. I do not mean to disparage what James Gee wrote about, because he did have good insights into how video games can be excellent tools for learning. In particular, his pointing out of how many students will each gladly pick up a video game and take the effort to learn the methods, controls, and characters of this new universe in the video game, yet resist learning in school. Therefore, students are not against learning, however it is something in how information is being presented to them in school that causes them to resist learning within the classroom. Because video games (and there are other examples) show us that there are circumstances where individuals will go all out in effort to learn. Another good point of his is that to use video games for learning we shouldn't focus on how video games should teach the students, but how video games can assess the students. Also his 15 facets of passionate affinity spaces (despite reading them so many times!) and how they relate to a school environment offered some intriguing insights into what makes a person desire to learn and ideas of how we can achieve that in the classroom. However, all in all I would not recommend this book. Rather you should read a couple of his individual essays and you will get a good grasp on Gee's message. In particular, I would recommend "Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game-Based Learning" which he co-authored with Elisabeth Hayes. It is also difficult to understand some of his points because his writing is full of his own personalized jargon. Nearly every important term he uses is a term that he defines to fit what he wants it to, which is alright. However, he does it for so many terms and concepts that you begin to feel that the message he is conveying is only applicable to a very specific setting and universe where everyone is on the same page.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    During my graduate program, I read quite a few essays about literacy by James Paul Gee--and it turns out he and I are totally gamers! Not only that, but we're both the type of gamer who harbor a belief that games are actually good for the brain. His theories that players interact with games in much the same way that readers interact with texts touched upon a lot of the things that I personally felt about the gaming world. It gave me some interesting ideas about how to apply some of the methods t During my graduate program, I read quite a few essays about literacy by James Paul Gee--and it turns out he and I are totally gamers! Not only that, but we're both the type of gamer who harbor a belief that games are actually good for the brain. His theories that players interact with games in much the same way that readers interact with texts touched upon a lot of the things that I personally felt about the gaming world. It gave me some interesting ideas about how to apply some of the methods that game developers use to guide players through their games, but it was tough to get past his often broad generalizations about public schools. All the same, pretty fascinating stuff.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Robbins

    This was one of the best scholarly books I've read in a long time and gave me helpful ideas that contributed to my dissertation research. I am very interested in the concept of affinity spaces and how this concept can be brought into my research as well as classroom settings. I still have work to do in this area, but this book helped me to explore the concept in more depth. The chapters were both interesting and accessible. I believe educators of all levels as well as scholars interested in Inte This was one of the best scholarly books I've read in a long time and gave me helpful ideas that contributed to my dissertation research. I am very interested in the concept of affinity spaces and how this concept can be brought into my research as well as classroom settings. I still have work to do in this area, but this book helped me to explore the concept in more depth. The chapters were both interesting and accessible. I believe educators of all levels as well as scholars interested in Internet learning spaces would benefit from reading this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book is a collection of essays about video games and learning. The author asserts that video games are good "when you play them with thought, reflection, and engagement with the world around you." In other words, when you are an "active player," similar to the way in which we encourage students to be "active" readers. He believes video games offer players a feeling of control over their environment. He also feels they "let people understand a world from the inside" in a way that is more pow This book is a collection of essays about video games and learning. The author asserts that video games are good "when you play them with thought, reflection, and engagement with the world around you." In other words, when you are an "active player," similar to the way in which we encourage students to be "active" readers. He believes video games offer players a feeling of control over their environment. He also feels they "let people understand a world from the inside" in a way that is more powerful than books or movies. Good video games, in his opinion, incorporate a variety of good learning principles. They challenge players to move to the next level, they are motivating and engaging for extended periods of time, they include peer and "expert" interaction, and offer choice and customization. The connections to our industry are fairly obvious; we are all searching for ways to make content more engaging and relevant to students; incorporate collaborative learning, to have guided instruction and gradual release of responsibility to the student, etc. Gee believes in the possibility of using video games in instructional settings, and encourages more research in this area. The author makes some compelling arguments, although in terms of writing style the essays were fairly repetitive and the writing was often disjointed. Gee could have used a good editor for this one!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Auvil

    I chose this book because I thought the collection of essays would give a broader perspective and nice overview to the concept of video games and learning in general. Unfortunately, it didn't make for a insightful (or even good) reading experience. The essays were disjointed in themselves and as a collection. Overall, I didn't find the level of detail went far beyond the generic "video games aren't all bad" and "people CAN learn from video games"--both facts I already understand and agree with. I chose this book because I thought the collection of essays would give a broader perspective and nice overview to the concept of video games and learning in general. Unfortunately, it didn't make for a insightful (or even good) reading experience. The essays were disjointed in themselves and as a collection. Overall, I didn't find the level of detail went far beyond the generic "video games aren't all bad" and "people CAN learn from video games"--both facts I already understand and agree with. Overall, not one I would recommend...I'm certain that based on James Gee's reputation and experience, he has a lot to say on this topic. Unfortunately, it didn't come through in this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Ellwood

    This is a fascinating collection of essays on video games and education which explores how video games can be integrated into education as well as critiquing contemporary education practices. What I also found relevant about this book was how video games can be used to form communities where people actively collaborate to learn. I found the essays helpful and useful in some of my own work. I'd recommend this book if you want to understand how video games can be used for education, as well as how This is a fascinating collection of essays on video games and education which explores how video games can be integrated into education as well as critiquing contemporary education practices. What I also found relevant about this book was how video games can be used to form communities where people actively collaborate to learn. I found the essays helpful and useful in some of my own work. I'd recommend this book if you want to understand how video games can be used for education, as well as how education can involve on the basis of using video games as a learning model.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brock

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Redeemed

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paytonwilliams

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  14. 4 out of 5

    A

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim Pallister

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mikael

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nora

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rolf

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jim Baesler

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tuomo Seppänen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Cassie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Seguin

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Runyon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nehad Mahmoud

  27. 4 out of 5

    G.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luis Morales-Navarro

  30. 5 out of 5

    Edward

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