Video games are one of the fastest trending topics in media, education, and technology. Research across fields as disparate as science, literacy, history, visual processing, curriculum, and computer science suggests that video games aren’t just fun – they can actually be good for your mind as well. In this course, we will discuss current research on the kinds of thinking and learning that go into video games and gaming culture. We’ll investigate the intellectual side of digital gameplay, covering topics that range from perception and attention in Left 4 Dead 2 to the development of historical understanding in Civilization to collaborative learning in massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. Throughout the course, we examine the inherent tensions between contemporary youth culture and traditional education and new developments in games for learning that promise to help bridge that growing divide.
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