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Distinctions Between Games and Learning: A Review of Current Literature on Games in Education

Distinctions Between Games and Learning: A Review of Current Literature on Games in Education
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Author(s): Katrin Becker (Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 33
Source title: Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch105

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Abstract

Serious games are digital games designed for purposes other than pure entertainment. This category includes educational games but it also includes a great deal more. A field that was unheard of until Ben Sawyer referred to it as Serious Games in late 2002 (Sawyer, 2003) has already grown so large that one can only hope to keep track of a very small part of it. The time is rapidly coming to an end when literature surveys of even one branch of Serious Games can be considered comprehensive. This chapter will examine the current state of the part of the serious games discipline that intersects with formal education, with a particular focus on design. The chapter begins broadly by looking at games in order to define the term serious game but then narrows to a specific focus on games for education. In this way, it provides an educational context for games as learning objects, distinguishes between traditional, (i.e. non-digital; Murray, 1998) and digital games, and classifies games for education as a subcategory of serious games while at the same time still being part of a larger group of interactive digital applications.

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