Representative

[Quick thought for myself, too long for twitter]

Recently I keep coming across things (articles, posts) like this, in which people suggest that we could use points and progress bars to help children (never adults, strangely) learn better. People who enjoy games, and have done so for a long time, are the last people who should offer opinions on how games could be used for education, because we’re the sort of people who genuinely like collecting points and achieving targets, and that’s what games have historically tended to be about. We’re an unrepresentative minority: everyone else has known about games for ages but as long they’ve been about points chosen not to join in. If games are going to be used meaningfully in education we’ve got to work out how else they might motivate people, beyond simplistic behaviourist approaches.

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