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Productive Gaming and the Case for Historiographic Game-Play

Productive Gaming and the Case for Historiographic Game-Play
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Author(s): Shree Durga (University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA) and Kurt Squire (University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 18
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.ch415

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Abstract

This chapter examines the potential of video games as a learning tool given their productive capacity for content creation and dissemination. Based on the findings from a longitudinal, twoyear design-based research study investigating the potential of learning communities constructed around using Civilization III (a turn-based historical simulation-strategy game), the chapter argues that historical model construction is a compelling way to mediate one’s understandings about history. Participants in this game- based learning program developed new identities as producers as well as consumers of historical simulations. Two distinct trajectories of expertise were found to be emerging: one that developed around expert, systemic gaming (orienting toward the experience as a game system), and another that we call historical gaming, orienting to the game experience as a form of “replaying history.” Both forms have value, emphasizing different aspects of the game system. We believe that a community tying these two forms of gaming together (and other ones, as they emerge) is key for building robust learning environments.

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