James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy is less about video games and more about a theoretical approach to education, says Kristen Odell.
The concept behind the book is a discussion about learning, arguing that the way that we learn in video games has value. Learners in a digital world learn differently than their analog peers. Probing, semiotic domains, and cultural models can all be taught through the play of video games.
This isn’t a book about the content of video games, but rather the ways that video games can change the process of learning. “In video games, not just conscious knowledge is rewarded,” says Odell. Instead the abilities to try, to practice, to build a contribution (even in the midst of failure) are rewarded. Learning is rewarded.
So why choose video games? They are accessible and the learning process is readily interpreted in a way that other media cannot offer.
- Overall Response: This highly accessible book does what it advocates. It places learning theory in the context of video games, but with our learning as the goal.
About Digital Media Book Club: In the growing field of strategic communication, social media rockstars, academics, and digital thinkers are investing time and energy to share their learning with others. In my Digital Strategic Communication class, students in the Master of Arts in Organizational and Strategic Communication program at Queens University of Charlotte are sifting through a variety of texts to discover the embedded wisdom. These are their thoughts and reactions.