A poster presented on July 31 in the targeted poster session “Game-Based and Game-Informed Approaches to Physics Instruction” at the 2014 Physics Education Research Conference (PERC); Minneapolis MN, Jul 30—31.
Abstract: To facilitate the use of video game dynamics and learning principles in physics teaching, I offer a theoretical model that integrates ideas from a broad range of literature. The essence of game play is voluntary engagement with a succession of challenges, powered by four dynamical loops: exploratory learning, identity growth, intrinsic motivation through mastery, and adaptive game response. Game play is a co-construction of the game mechanics and player, and much of a game’s power to engage and teach arises from five different types of human-computer “meld” that the player can experience. The model describes coarse- and fine-grained elements of the game mechanics and their interrelationships, and can be applied at four different levels: the micro-level game as a succession of interesting challenges, the macro-level game as a designed experience, and two meta-level games focused on extending or modifying game aspects and on social interactions surrounding it.
A PDF of the poster will be available on COMPADRE after the conference. Here’s a sneak preview draft for the curious. Warning: This poster is intended to support discussion during a targeted poster session, and is probably not self-explanatory. Nevertheless, you may find it interesting to puzzle out.
The model is fully presented and explained in a journal article currently under review. A very brief summary of an earlier version of the model is available in the unpublished preprint “Gaming the System: Video Games as a Theoretical Framework for Instructional Design” (arXiv:1401.6716 [physics.ed-ph]).
Reference List for the Poster