How Games Intersect Learning Is an ‘Incredibly Fun Problem’ (VIDEO)

[ 0 ] July 11, 2012 |

Who says video games can’t be educational? Katie Salen, executive director of the Institute of Play, and Michael John, general manager of GLASS Lab, see a huge intersection between games and learning. Watch  Salen and John discuss why they believe “games are learning machines:”


Katie Salen (left) and Michael John (right) with genConnect.

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“We see a huge intersection between games and learning, partially because the way game environments are structured is a lot like what good learning looks like,” Salen told genConnect. “We’ve taken on this big challenge to start a new lab called GLASS lab that is beginning to look out how do you develop commercial grade video games that can be used in classrooms and also out of classroom settings that really support good learning.”

The recently-launched GLASS Lab (The Games, Learning and Assessment Lab), supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Electronic Arts (EA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), will research and develop digital game-based learning and assessment tools that engage students in innovative ways and validate student learning of the core skills deemed critical by states for college and the 21st century workplace.

“As a game developer …  I’m a believer that games and learning are kind of one in the same,” John said. GLASS Labs are working through a number of game and learning ideas “and figuring out exactly how those intersect is an incredibly fun problem,” he added.

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But people need to get involved to create fun learning environments for young people – and not just those with education backgrounds.

“Our call to arms is, we think that there are so many different people can become involved in the lab,” Salen said, “either by becoming new kinds of partners with us, or becoming fellows in the lab with us based on expertise.”

WATCH: Does Transmedia Enhance Learning for Kids?

genConnect was credentialed press at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we interviewed the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.

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Katie Salen

About Katie Salen: Katie Salen is the Executive Director of the Institute of Play. She is an active game designer and, as one of the Institute’s founders, a pioneer in applying game design principles to challenges outside the [...]
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