October 19, 2011

“Frankly, I think that it is downright immoral to trick children into learning and doing math when they think they are just playing an innocent game. To make the situation worse (as if anything can be worse than lying to children), the deception does not achieve any purpose, since cooperative learners who know what they are doing will learn far better than children who go mindlessly through the motions of learning. I can imagine no better example to support this than observing how much more children learn in mastering a tough game than in the same amount of time in math class.”

Papert, S. (1998) Does Easy Do It? Children, Games, and LearningFrom the June 1998 issue of Game Developer magazine, “Soapbox” section, page 88. Also included is a letter in response to Papert’s article and Papert’s response to that letter, both of which appeared in the September 1998 issue of the magazine.

1 thought on “October 19, 2011”

  1. Which might be why gamers oppose ‘gamification’ in education. You end up spoiling the game and not teaching particularly well either, though you might distract your students and perhaps even entertain them.

    If you game for the sake of the game, and you learn something in the process, brilliant! If you break the game to manipulate students, then you’ve done nothing valuable.

    A game with internal mechanics that do not serve to maximize the player’s experience (as in many edu-games), inevitably fail as games.

    The real problem in games and education is that education tends to myopically chase down specific goals whereas games tend to aim for a persistent mind-space in players with specific goals as a by-product of that maintenance of deep-interactive player attention.

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