Smarter People Through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

Smarter People through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

Toward an Ecology of Gaming. Katie Salen

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The concept of gaming as it is used in the following pages goes beyond games, in the same way that learning goes beyond the configuration of a classroom. Gaming constitutes the sum total of activities, literacies, knowledge, and practices activated in and around any instance of a game. Gaming is play across media, time, social spaces, and networks of meaning; it includes engagement with digital FAQs, paper game guides, parents and siblings, the history of games, other players, as well as the games themselves. It requires players to be fluent in a series of connected literacies that are multimodal, performative, productive, and participatory in nature. It requires an attitude oriented toward risk taking, meaning creation, nonlinear navigation, problem solving, an understanding of rule structures, and an acknowledgment of agency within that structure, to name but a few.

  • What forms of participatory practices do games and gaming engender for youth; which forms of learning are present, missing, or reinforced through gaming?
  • What gaming literacies, or families of practice produced by games and gaming attitudes, do we see emerging?
  • How does gaming act as a point of entry or departure for other forms of knowledge, literacies, and social organization?
  • What barriers of entry into gaming and game communities exist, and what are the implications for those who haven’t been invited to play?

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