Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Purdue Center For Serious Games Opening

Serious Games to play a better education


Via: Purdue Center For Serious Games and Learning In Virtual Environments

The Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments will open with a reception from 3-5 p.m. Feb. 12 at Beering Hall, Room 3288.

“The Serious Games Center seeks to encourage collaboration and establish a foundation for research at Purdue on Serious Games and virtual environments for learning and support innovative instructional practices”, said the center's director William Watson.

The center was established with the support of the Discovery Learning Center, the Office of the Vice President of Research and the College of Education.

This reception is open to the public, but those interested should RSVP by contacting Watson at
brwatson@purdue.edu.

Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments Purdue University, College of Education Room 3288 Beering Hall100 N. University StreetWest Lafayette, IN 47907-2098

About the Serious Games Center

The Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments is housed in the College of Education at Purdue in Beering Hall room 3288.


The Serious Games Center seeks to encourage collaboration and establish a foundation for research at Purdue on Serious Games and virtual environments for learning, support innovative instructional practices, and establish a framework for developing and implementing engaging and innovative instruction for both K-12 and higher education classrooms (please find also my prior posts Purdue Project: Serious Games Improve Mathematical Abilities Of Deaf Children, Serious Games Forum @ Purdue and Chemistry Serious Games @ Purdue University).

The center includes a lab for utilizing, designing, developing, and evaluating serious games and virtual environments.

Usability software allows for the full capturing of user interactions within these environments. Today’s students, identified as the Gamer Generation (Beck & Wade, 2004) or as Digital Natives (Prensky, 2006), crave and expect engagement and interactivity. More and more, video games are becoming the popular medium with which these students engage.

The increasing popularity of video games and the need for today’s students to be engaged with interactive instruction prompted the Federation of American Scientists (2006) to recently declare that video games can redefine education and call for additional research.

In addition to video games for learning or Serious Games, the potential of immersive, digital, 3D environments for promoting engagement and collaboration is also being recognized.

Multi-user virtual environment s(MUVEs) are becoming more and more mainstream as companies such as CNN, IBM, the NBA, as well as many colleges and universities, set up virtual representations of their organizations online. The MUVE Second Life is being used to hold conferences, meetings, job interviews and has over 9.6 million registered users, with Gartner Inc. estimating that by 2011, over 80 percent of active Internet users and major companies will have a virtual world presence online.

The Creation Of Purdue Center For Serious Games
Bill Watson, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, created The Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments as a place for professors to collaborate on their work with virtual Serious Games.

Watson said the reason professors are devoting so much time to studying Serious Games is so they can see how they can be used as a learning environment.

"With the center we can look at the best way to utilize that environment (virtual), whether it be for business training or K-12 education," Watson said.

While more online courses may choose to utilize virtual learning environments in the future, Watson doesn't believe the classroom will ever disappear. He said he does think that by using virtual environments, the traditional classroom will be changed in how they set up a learning-centered atmosphere.

"We can look at students engaged in learning and get them in an environment where they can explore and solve problems and actively pursue learning."

"Purdue has a lot of people very strong in the area, which is one of the reasons I came to Purdue last year," Watson said. "The center will be a place to bring that strength together to serve as a strong area for research."