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June 02, 2007



If only "The Sims" had been like your dream! ("The Sims" always seemed perverse to me, like a game version of "American Psycho"- all exaggerated consumer culture and grisly, sadistic deaths.)

I really can't imagine any use of Civ 3 that would be educational in any meaningful way. I must admit, I haven't played any of the Civ games in quite a while, but my recollection was that it very much didn't reflect how civilizations develop in the real world, but instead perpetuated very deterministic, euro-centric notions of "civilization." That's fine for an empire-building strategy game, but if it's being used with the assumption that it reflects reality in some way, those who play it will develop warped notions of the real world. Game design has almost nothing to do with reality, and educational games really have to be developed with education as the primary goal, although I suspect they'd end up less game-like and more of a simulation as a result. Using simulation in education is problematic as well, though. Simulations, by their nature, encode the prejudices of the developers, and one has to internalize those assumptions to a certain degree to "play" the simulation. If those assumptions are critically examined, then the simulation might be a way of seeing how a set of presuppositions lead to particular outcomes, or the strengths and flaws of a particular model, but ultimately, creating simulations would be more educational than playing them.


Theres something to be said for not over analyzing something thats probably just supposed to generate interest in learning more about canadian history.


The increasing use of games/simulations in educational contexts raise important questions, the foremost being: is the material in question at all accurate or educational? One could never justify making the statement about, say, a physics textbook being used in schools that "it's supposed to generate interest in physics, let's not over-analyze whether the 'facts' presented are actually true." I'm sure "God of War" would "generate interest" for some young people in Greek and Roman culture- that doesn't mean it belongs in schools. (And if it were making a claim to historical accuracy, it *really* wouldn't belong there.)

"Not over analyzing" educational material is how we ended up with half the US population believing the earth is only 6000 years old.


Video games are why the united states has such a strong religious background! why didn't i think of this before!?

Sorry pal, contrary to popular belief, religious people are not retarded.

lighten up.


"...religious people are not retarded"
Whoa! I most certainly didn't say that- in fact, my point was nearly the opposite. I used a bad example, but I was simply saying that the educational system fails to disabuse students of some pretty basic misunderstandings about the world, and new educational material, whether it be a "game" or text, shouldn't introduce *added* misunderstandings. (Most Americans don't believe in a young Earth because of religion, per se, but because the evidence has never been properly presented to them. Many believe, thanks to the silence of the educational system, that the scientific evidence supports their views. Most of these people are not so religiously extreme, or if you prefer, "stupid" that they would reject the evidence if it was ever presented to them.) No need to get personal.

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