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Game-Based Learning: How to Delight and Instruct in The 21st Century

EDUCAUSE Review Volume 39, Number 5, ISSN 1527-6619


Not long after he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Mike Van Lent used his interest in videogames and artificial intelligence to land a research professorship at the University of Southern California (USC). There he edits the Journal of Game Development and conducts studies for the Institute for Creative Technologies, a $45 million defense and entertainment industry collaboration "that advances the state-of-the-art in virtual reality and immersive environments" (http://www.ict.usc .edu). When Van Lent moved into his campus office, one of his first acts was to line the bookshelves with forty videogame boxes and wait for visitors so that he could ask them, with a twist on conventional academic one-upsmanship, how many of the games they had played. This document describes how video games are influencing higher education. The insights of five leading-edge thinkers in the field are presented in this document: James Paul Gee, J. C. Herz, Randy Hinrichs, Marc Prensky, and Ben Sawyer. All five had traveled to San Jose, California, in March 2004 for the Serious Games Summit at the annual Game Developers Conference. The following six topics are discussed: (1) The dysfunctions of conventional instruction; (2) The power of simulations; (3) The importance of game-based learning communities; (4) The reasons videogames promise a better learning future; (5) The changes necessary for the new paradigm to take hold; and (6) The practical steps that colleges/universities and influential academics can take to move institutions down the trail blazed by USC and others.


Foreman, J. (2004). Game-Based Learning: How to Delight and Instruct in The 21st Century. EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5),. Retrieved July 6, 2022 from .

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