Mobile games, gamefulness, and place-based learning

How can you leverage mobile gaming, location-based mobile features, and gamification to produce powerful learning opportunities?

About The Speaker(s)

  • Richard Scullin - Founder, MobileEd.org; Director of Mount Greylock Regional High School DML Lab
  • Judy Perry - Research Manager, Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP), MIT; TaleBlazer
  • Eric Gordon - Associate Professor, Emerson College; Founder, Engagement Game Lab
  • Debra Polson - Queensland University of Technology; Founder, newishmedia

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Websites/Articles Mentioned

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Key Questions and Comments

  • (03:16) If people learned at least 10% about the site and artifacts I had to learn in making the game, I'd be very pleased.
  • (09:15) I've decided that the mobile is not the primary theme that holds these things together; it's, in fact, location...Moving away from the mobile as a technological focus to location as a thematic or cultural focus.
  • (13:10) The act of play (whether it's adding fiction to the environment or drawing our attention to certain things because we're engaged in the narrative)...is potentially transformative of location.
  • (18:05) It can be a really powerful experience to take a sensory experience of being in a place, and also the cognitive (and sometimes emotional) experience of doing this roleplaying activity--that's a big part of the power of this type of learning.
  • (20:45) "Gamification" takes a system that's already well-defined and simply makes that system more efficient...We take tasks and make them less boring by adding game mechanics, and I think that's really troubling--that's not why I'm interested in games.
  • (25:40) Have either one of you undergone that experience where you've created this game and there was this emergent product or realization that you didn't plan?
  • (29:06) One of my colleague, Scot Osterweil, talks about 'The 4 Freedoms of Play' and one of them is the 'Freedom to Fail'. Games provide a really good space for that, giving people permission to go out on a limb and try things.
  • (31:07) What is your position on this whole trend toward integrating games into the government and institutions such as K-12 schools? How will that pan out?
  • (34:10) Is it fair to say that mobile is distinctly different? And if so, how? What are some of the positive outcomes that can come from the mobile aspect of games?
  • (37:56) I think there are opportunities to reach people in very different ways that school doesn't tend to do a very good job at; that's something that we can investigate trying to leverage more and more.
  • (43:38) How could non-programmers start providing mobile game-based learning for their youth? What are the first steps?
  • (48:40) The more we can provide templates for things, that's another way to provide a really easy on-ramp for people to get started making their own games. That's a huge piece of it.
  • (50:45) I really want to hear Eric talk about some of the tough topics that you tackle through a mobile game. Is there a threshold [regarding] the rigor or the difficulty of the topic that you want to engage?

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