First-Person Solvers? Learning Mathematics in a Video Game

Friday, February 19, 2010: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 3 (San Diego Convention Center)
Mathematics -- particularly at the K-12 level, although not exclusively so -- is well suited to learning in video games, which provide not only immersive environments in which situated, conceptual learning can take place, but also motivate the necessary repetitive practice of procedures. Although long recognized, this promise is only now becoming a reality. The long gestation period is due in part to the time it took for the initial studies and experiments to yield the required understanding of the medium for education, in part to the time it took for the gaming industry to produce flexible tools that made game development less of a “one-off” affair, and in part the need for the game developers to be convinced that there is a market to generate reasonable returns for the considerable up-front development costs. But the last 2 years have seen the release of a number of successful products, and others are under development. These first-wave mathematics education games will not get everything right, but as was indicated by a number of articles published in Science (2 January 2009), the trend is now well established. This half-day symposium will look at the current situation from four perspectives: the cognitive science issues of learning mathematics in a video game, the curriculum issues for K-12 education, the curriculum issues for university education, and the challenges involved in designing and building a video game for mathematics learning.
Keith Devlin, Stanford University
James Paul Gee, Arizona State University
Games and Learning (Content)
Frank Wattenberg, United States Military Academy
Game Quality Immersive Simulations Driven by Student Models
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