What Makes Educational Games Work?

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As the gaming in education continues to grow, one of the foremost experts in the field, Constance Steinkuehler, makes the case for why it's important to pay attention to what works in gaming and how it could be applied to learning.

At the recent Aspen Ideas Festival, Steinkuehler, who's now a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President, spoke with author and researcher John Seely Brown about some of the more prominent issues in gaming and education.


In this video, she makes a case for the importance of investing in learning more about games and education. "It will engage [players] in a level of problem solving that's stunning -- and call it fun," she says.



In response to concerns about how gaming has the potential to isolate kids from each other, Steinkuehler talks about the need to figure out the best ways of incorporating games as part of a larger learning system.

"It's the wild wild west right now," she says. Though there will be a place for gaming, she says it's not meant to replace face-to-face contact. It's important to figure out what the new model of e-learning looks like.


What constitutes a good game? Steinkuehler concedes that though there are a lot of "bad games out there," there's a new generation of higher quality games coming.