That's no passing grade, its The Axe Factor! This week, we binge on new media for Destiny, Wolfenstein, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Then, we talk about eduction and the aspects of gaming that stand to improve how we learn.

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This Week:

What We’re Watching:

Exploring Wolfenstein: The New Order - Stealth vs. Mayhem

Official Destiny Strike Gameplay - The Devils’ Lair

Drive Club - Release Date Announce 

Murdered: Soul Suspect - The Bell Killer Trailer

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Reveal Trailer

What We’re Reading:

Education: An End to Fear - Why Students Hate Homework - Extra Credits

What We’re Playing:

Thief

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

 

Views: 1122

Tags: The Axe Factor, podcasts

Comment by Hokum on May 6, 2014 at 5:01am

I find gaming in education a very interesting topic and have been so for years. While I am not a teacher I find that learning and teaching using game mechanics are superior to the standard way of doing things and find myself wondering what it would have done for me. For example I am not very good at writing and all feedback I have had through the years in school and collage has made some comment about my wording being heavy, if not awkward, and I have yet been able to fix that. How might that have been different with gamification? I do not know, but I do know that it more of the same way of doing things did nothing for me.

It is funny that this topic is raised now because I am rereading "Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World" by Jane McGonigal and it touches on many of the aspects of mentioned by Lorin and Brent; how gaming is more rewarding, how gaming is positive stress and not negative stress (the good games, not the bad ones :p) and how we have much to learn from the gaming way of doing things.

On education it mentions New York public school Quest To Learn which has embraced the gaming way, so if it is new to you I recommend you check it out. http://q2l.org/

Comment by Lorin Baumgarten on May 6, 2014 at 8:17am

Quest to Learn is a school that has been mentioned to me many times down here in SP.  It is a school that has game designers on staff and really takes gamification and use of original games in the classroom to a new level. 

Comment by Deking on May 6, 2014 at 9:21am

I swear i thought i was only one going MEH, Destiny looks and has too much of a Halo feel. I never was intrested

Comment by StarBound on May 6, 2014 at 9:50am

I'm looking forward to destiny but so far its looking extremely average or a far cry away from what Guild Wars 2 or even WoW was to me.

The thing with education is we need a grading system showing strengths and weaknesses. I won't say the current system is perfect (and in south africa its apparently far from good now) but its all we have to get into universities and higher diploma giving institutions. There are other way to make your living afterward if you have the self determination and will power to carry something through.

The way in which you guys talked about creating a learning tool isn't something that lies in gaming. It is to create a toolset or approach to help learners and students to better themselves. Remember that a game in itself is something to learn and experiment with until you solve a problem (the whole game is a puzzle with toolsets thing).

In a sense you can see it as playing a game is the same as studying, beating or failing is passing or failing, cheats are ...cheats, and microtransactions are nothing short of bribery.

Comment by Christopher Brady on May 6, 2014 at 12:00pm

The only people who believe Video Games are 'Art' is other gamers.  Everyone else believes that Video Games are just a different form of Monopoly or Checkers.  Because you PLAY, not admire or dissect.  And most games are not meant to be admired or dissected for 'meaning'.

Comment by Corax on May 6, 2014 at 12:10pm

XCOM time Lorin. ;)

Comment by CornRPeople2 on May 6, 2014 at 12:36pm

Gaming in education is a phenomenal outlet for gaming to be taken serious by people outside of the community.  I think with the surfacing of Minecraft to many parents, families are starting to see that some games contain content that is beneficial to a growing mind.  

The "gamification" of education in homework and lesson plans is something that I have thought about almost daily.  With new physics engines, and simplification of game design through different software, I think the ability to learn through virtual design will become more prevalent in today's society.  

Personally, I would have loved to learn physics by messing with different flash games that teach the world through theoretical concept.  What if instead of not only learning the concepts of projectile motion through boring book examples, you had to find the ideal angle at which to fire the kitten cannon  OR Train A leaves this station, Train B leaves this station, prevent the crash by slowing Train A by this velocity, OR build a virtual dam to stop the reservoir from drowning the virtual town, calculate hydrostatic pressure..  There are millions of ways the gamification of school cannot only simulate real-world applications, and teach real lessons, but it can make learning fun.

Comment by Ian - Alexander Arts on May 6, 2014 at 1:44pm

My photography professor once told me that in ancient times every educated person would memorize the great stories and poems of their culture. When people like Homer started writing down their stories the elders considered it lazy. "How can anyone be considered intelligent if they have to READ the stories instead of knowing them by heart."

I'm not sure if that is really true, but I think it still shows a good point which is every time the younger generation wants to develop the older generation criticizes it as lazy and stupid. Every form of media has been criticized when it was new and videogames are getting the same treatment.

My father who's over 60 years old plays a few games like Civilization and Diablo, but if I try to talk to him about story in games, or their use in education, he's not really interested.

I think it's going to take a while for people to embrace games, but as an English teacher here in Taiwan I can see the kids get excited when I mention Minecraft, or whatever Cellphone game they're playing (Right now its 'Tower of Saviors') We just got a big touch-screen TV/PC in our school so I hope we can use that to teach with some more interactive games. Up till now I only have some 'sticky-balls' and white-board markers to make games with.

Comment by Matthew Smith on May 6, 2014 at 2:35pm

I have long been interested in the way games can be applied to education. I'm especially interested in the way that they can create an atmosphere where failure is 'safe' and people can explore different contexts in their own way. I would love to hear more on this topic in further episodes, and in that light would simply like to highlight some recent articles from Play the Past that I think could provide a basis for further discussion.

First is this article http://www.playthepast.org/?p=4328 ostensibly on games as text, although I think the most interesting section is when the author talks about how he gets students to design or mod games as a way to review or more deeply understand content. Next is a series of four articles, of which three have been put up on the website, which begins here: http://www.playthepast.org/?p=4438 but sadly does not seem to include links to articles 2 and 3. Fortunately, if you click on the author's name, Angela R Cox, the page that comes up with her most recent articles include links to all parts to the series. The subject is a true exploration of games as text building off of the author's own experience teaching classes on "20th Century PC Games," and I found it fascinating. Part four should be coming out some time next week and I can't wait to read it.

Anyway, I hope that anyone who takes a look at said links at least finds them of interest, though they don't directly relate to the main topic of discussion for this week's episode. As I said above, I'm seriously looking forward to hearing the Axe Lords' thoughts on this topic in the future. Great show!

Comment by Lance Latham on May 6, 2014 at 3:02pm

@Christpher Brady, so, how do you feel when professions are described as "art" like teaching or cooking? As an educator, I have watched not an insignificant number of amazing teachers whose teaching style, including classroom management and lesson planning, could only be described as art. What about art you can play with? Yoko Ono is somewhat well known for creating art you can manipulate (not unlike how she manipulated a certain musical legend). 

I know we've had this discussion before elsewhere on the site, but it's certainly appropriate here. In thinking about it for this post, I have solidified my position more clearly as to how the term "art" applies to works beyond the sit-and-stare-at-in-a-room-with-a-vaulted-ceiling type. Maybe I am just way more inclusive in my definition. To each his own, right?

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