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Video Games and Learning


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Agreed. I'm finding the Metal Gear Solid series to be full of this stuff. While many games have tons of backstory and things you can find and check out in the menus, I think they are often forgotten or buried under some clunky interface. The example used in the video of using some text/information during a loading screen is a good one. One that Call of Duty 4 pulled off very well, by conveying information in a way that is interesting and covers up the process of loading.

Also, GG @ using a Hell's Highway screenshot in there that I worked on :D

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yes I remember that kind of info in Battlefield Vietnam's loading screens. the OST build from music out of this time did it's part to really get me into reading about Vietnam. I think another good example would be the Age of Empires Series (at least 1 and 2) which referenced alot of historical happenings like the greeks and romans, the crusades, djingis kan etc..

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no doubt that any game, or for that matter, any medium of information should have its weight in learning. games are essentially interactive books or movies; some of them very inspiring. i think it's very much in the nature of any game to teach us something, not neccesarily just about the topic within, but also about its reflection on the real world. imagine what standstill we would reach if we learnt nothing from any source of inspiration-- both in technology and in personal development.

i'd go so far as to say that i wouldn't be interested in game design were games not a way to convey a message through experience.

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i'd go so far as to say that i wouldn't be interested in game design were games not a way to convey a message through experience.

Well sometimes the "message" is money, and the "experience" is the unaware consumer.

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i'd go so far as to say that i wouldn't be interested in game design were games not a way to convey a message through experience.

Well sometimes the "message" is money, and the "experience" is the unaware consumer.

i know. i may not have put it bluntly enough, so here goes: i'm not in it for the money.

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I remain unconvinced by this. He intelligently explains the difference between edutainment and entertainment, and why edutainment doesn’t work. But his ultimate solutions of subtle references and quotations are not going to inspire huge amounts of people (and, honestly, aren't that rare presently), whereas wikipedia links would just leave a bad taste in my mouth. It’s also going to be rather misleading if you do drop loads of references in, and they get blurred with all the other parts of the game.

I worked for 6 weeks with an indie developer who makes edutainment games. They were rushed, low budget, not made for/by gamers, and ultimately made to be sold to schools that would be very suspicious of anything gamey in them. This is why they, basically, suck.

I also don’t think the gap between the two is quite the ravine he makes it out to be, a case of point is games like Civilisation and Total War. These are educational, they are based on fact, their mechanics are grounded in reality, and they feed the player lots of real educational material from start to finish. The reason why these are successful is because their primary focus is entertainment. Of course historical topics have a huge advantage because it's not too hard to see a game in building up empires and crushing people under the iron heel of imperial oppression... but half the battle is getting the player interest, and I think it could be done with a bit of creative ingenuity and making sure your underlying principles were about entertainment alone.

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The X series is full of such references to history etc. (the boron queen is called Menelaus for example) and every time you load up the game, it shows up a random quote of a philosopher or a scientist. :)

When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.

- Nietzsche :ninja:

They did a pretty good job alright... :P

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you're too young to start learning about nietzche, sindy.

ill blankly admit that i havent watched the video; i felt that the topic has more to offer than one person's view expressed through a video. there have been numerous cases of "passive" learning put into entertainment. take for instance any game that uses old greek, persian or other names for vessels or units. it might not be much, but if the user finds a specific unit to be awesome (especially due to an emphasis put on from the game itself), then he or she is more likely to gather information about said unit. i dont think active learning in entertainment works just yet; it would be bad to force players to learn something. let those who want explore and learn more. you've presented it, you don't need to burn it into their brain if they don't want to.

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The X series is full of such references to history etc. (the boron queen is called Menelaus for example) and every time you load up the game, it shows up a random quote of a philosopher or a scientist. :)

When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.

- Nietzsche :ninja:

They did a pretty good job alright... :P

there you prove Taylor's "they get blurred with all the other parts of the game". quouting Nietzsche doesn't make you understand Nietzsche at all, I'd even say, reading such Quotes out of context and combined with ("stupid") game content will lead so far you learn something wrong out of it.

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The X series is full of such references to history etc. (the boron queen is called Menelaus for example) and every time you load up the game, it shows up a random quote of a philosopher or a scientist. :)

When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.

- Nietzsche :ninja:

They did a pretty good job alright... :P

there you prove Taylor's "they get blurred with all the other parts of the game". quouting Nietzsche doesn't make you understand Nietzsche at all, I'd even say, reading such Quotes out of context and combined with ("stupid") game content will lead so far you learn something wrong out of it.

The actual point to that is to bring people to look up those quotes/references, because they can't be interpreted correctly out of context :ninja:

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Pretty stupid video. Put Wikipedia links in PC games? Yeah that won't be distracting at all. If your game contains factual realistic elements, right on, that's great. People who are smart and curious always have sought to learn more information about the things they find interesting wherever they come from. But no one should feel obligated to cram a bunch of stupid referential shit into their game for the "greater good" of trying to get people interested in learning about the world.

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