Leveling Up for Educational Games
Educational Gaming Has to Engage the Students… but How? at EduTechie.com
Here is an interesting blog post that I was directed to from Educause. He brings up some good ideas about using games. His question about if using the game in an educational setting kills the fun of the game. There is that potential, but if done right, the game doesn't have to be boring. If a game isn't fun, or at least interesting why are we trying to integrate them? He doesn't really offer any help on this issue, but simply raises the question.
I am incredibly intrigued by his section of "Linking the Digital World..." The application and ability to link real life activities with skills and traits within a virtual/digital world would be amazing. No longer would a virtual world be your "Second Life" it would part of life. Learning communities could develop around this on campuses, study groups, and classes could be worked in. If a game gives increased experience points for studying in the real world, there is suddenly a lot more motivation for activities. Granted the logistics seem like a nightmare.
The idea of creating activities either real or virtual that add to a user's in-game power or prestige is not new for video games. This "leveling up" is a traditional feature of all role-playing games. But it's an interesting door to open from an educational standpoint. Thanks Jeff for providing a nice addition to the growing dialog that we are a part of.