Video games are usually viewed as a form of escapism: pure entertainment and shoot-em-up fantasy. But increasingly, games are being recognized as educational tools, or as deliverers of social or political messages.
This evolving medium is taking on complex environments and issues, and providing a platform for people to explore a world or situation in an interactive way. In this talk at the X Media Lab in Sydney, video game theorist and designer Ian Bogost gives an overview of how video games can benefit human existence.
Dr. Ian Bogost is a video game designer, critic, and researcher. He is a Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing considers video games as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues.
Bogost is author of Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism, recently listed among "50 books for everyone in the game industry," and of Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, along with several other books and many other writings. He is a popular speaker and widely considered an influential thinker and doer in the video game industry and research community.
Thanks for the examples of gaming-as-training, <HerodotusWept>! We might consider extracting the learning models and environments presented in them for future games- whether "serious", "playful", or anywhere "in between".
Pokerandwine - While I understand what you are saying, but both the US military, NASA, and a number of police forces all use "Video Games" for training. Many pilots are now expected to spend many hours on a simulation before getting anywhere near the actual plane. There are months to years of simulation work for the fight of any advanced aircraft, including B2, F-22, and the Space Shuttle. Not to mention the fact that video games when done right can be, especially for children, a captivating learning experience unlike almost anything else they can do at that age... I wish I could remember who said it, but I recall a manifesto of a video game designer who grew up playing Atari that went something like "while my parents were passively watching television, I was making the television work and interact with me. While my parents were dependent on the story and adventure the television provided, I was creating my own story by moving my own character on the screen."
While hands-on real world training will always be vital to any endeavor, you make a grave mistake by dismissing video simulation with a phrase like "...don't take them THAT seriously"
I promise your children and grandchildren will take them more seriously than you or I can imagine.
Ian Bogost clearly spent A LOT of time playing games. His "modeling" idea is dangerous in a way. Although it might be useful to get a feel on being an airplane pilot while playing a simulation game, but it shouldn't by confused with professional training or even serve as any kind of background to it.
Don't get me wrong, I like computer games, I just don't take them THAT seriously.
Great Talk. I think it's great that they are making more video games like this. If kids are going to park in front of the TV and computer for hours, they might as well be learning something of value. I found an interesting related article from 2005 about a video game for treating ADD: http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/bio...a/videoadd.htm