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Friday, August 29, 2008

Video games at APA

Science Daily has an article up about what seems to be a symposium on video games at APA.

The first study is by Fran Blumberg of Fordham University, looking at middle schoolers' problem solving strategies while playing video games, finding that their goal orientation affects how they approach problems in the game. Here (journal, subscription may be needed) is a related 2000 study by Blumberg on the relationship of goal orientation to performance (in video game playing).

Another study by Constance Steinkuehler at Wisconsin - Madison analyzed posts to World of Warcraft forums and found that a majority were using scientific reasoning skills in their approach to the game. You can find many previous WoW (and other) articles by Steinkuehler here. I have to wonder how much the scientific reasoning found generalizes to other environments; are these gamers able to analyze scientific arguments found elsewhere in their daily lives?


I'm starting this blog as a repository for research about learning, play, learning through play, designs for learning and playing, playing at learning, learning to play... as well as development news regarding educational toys, games, video games, etc. I'll likely also throw in news and info on other informal learning environments occasionally, such as TV, books, museums, etc.

I'm starting it for my own edification - as a graduate student in the Learning Sciences who is very interested in informal learning environments, I'd like a place to collect thing things I find around the internet for future reference. Hopefully, though, a few people out there with similar interests will find this useful as well.

If you would like to point me toward any resources to include in future posts, please leave a comment!

A few more things about me: I like toys. I've been a Barbie doll collector since about the age of 12, I love video games and am rarely found without my Nintendo DS. I spent most of my childhood obsessed with educational toys, and only in the past few years have I come to realize that this is a valid area of research interest. My background is in Cognitive Science and Gifted Education.