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Hi Alex,

well your question is complex for me.  My view is that for the most part, gaming and video games have not contributed much to teaching and learning in the context of formal curriculum, for example, the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.  I am sure that if you google gaming and education you will get lots of hits as there is much hype and enthusiasm for this topic, especially by non-teachers and non-educators.  Gaming is always often good for hypothesizing but when it come down to the work of learning curriculum, developing rational thought, learning to be a good writer and communicator, learning to be a good cooperator and citizen, gaming does not offer a whole lot.  With respect to educational software, it is extremely difficult to get the right balance between gaming and pursuing learning objectives.  people often look to game the game and just focus on the gaming characteristics and ignoring the actual content.  the best research i have seen regarding gaming was at MIT where they had kids developing their own games.  in that context they learned a lot about math, programming, and logic.  there is a built in conflict of interest in educational gaming when for-profit game companies want to suggest that their games are effective but their research is questionable because they stand to profit from selling games to education.  Unfortunately there is a loot of enthusiasm for games and education but the research does not support that they are typically productive.  My view is that games are fun and should remain so and we benefit from recognizing that learning is a complex process of interaction with people and ideas that requires study, work, discipline, and often patience and that complex process cannot be rendered painless through games.
let me know if you want to carry the conversation further.
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