Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New Innovate Online

There are three interesting articles this time around. The first one is from the U of A - Neverwinter Nights in Alberta: Conceptions of Narrativity through Fantasy Role-Playing Games in a Graduate Classroom - It's nothing that hasn't already been done with other groups using Scriptese or other scripting languages that can create modules for the game engine. It seems that they have found that some of the students have tried to make narratives that don't quite fit the structure that the game uses and that on top of those limits, some students found the process "too geeky". They also came to the conclusion that the player is not so much an author, but an athlete who has significant control of the narrative, but not complete control. Even with this limitation, they found the experience to be useful when dealing with narratives. Personally I would tend to agree with what they found, though the author/athlete differentiation is a bit sticky. I would think that it's more a point of view than anything else. Authors must still play within the rules, just as athletes must be confined in some manner for their competitions. The next one deals with MMOGs and how they can be used in the classroom. Basically this one suggest that these games are indeed useful tools, but ones that most teachers don't know enough about to use effectively. My thinking on this point is that game genres will be like any other teacher tool. Some teachers find boardwork to be great, but can't handle the overhead. The next generation of teachers may be able to use sims, but not MMOG/MMORPGs. Finally, there is a study that looked at games that promote a positive attitude towards technology. While it seems that this is a useful addition to the reams of data points that say that boys like games for different reasons than girls do. But what seems interesting is the results that suggest that there may be a social element to the disposition that either gender may have toward technology. Boys think that technology is not for girls because they may have no models to compare to or because there may be an external factor - such as locus of control that is changing the attitude of the boys (perhaps when the boys didn't seem to score as high). The rub seems to be in this line If girls in particular are exposed to a variety of games, they may find that there are games they enjoy, and this perception alone may convince them that technology is relevant to them. Similarly, game design in the classroom shows both boys and girls that technology-related careers, like those in the fields of science and mathematics, often involve a wide variety of activities and skills. As a consequence, both boys and girls may begin to believe that there is room for them in these fields. (It's all about the modelling people!). Technorati Tags: , , ,