Designing games for learning is a complex process requiring deep understanding of socio-cultural elements to be represented in the activity, as well as knowledge of technologies with which to bring the action to life. Digicon is a leadership training simulation- game. It uses no digital technology, yet generates intense discussion about topics as diverse as linguistic competence, learned helplessness and behavioural inhibitions.
In the context of a conference on digital games and interactive entertainment, Digicon is link between a pre-digital age when designers of games for learning relied solely on analysis and imagination to create synthetic environments such as those now available via large-scale technology-supported learning activities.
Games and simulations have long provided learning opportunities. In the 21st Century play and fun are more widely accepted as valid learning strategies than in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, while there is much design-oriented knowledge available to educators and game designers, there are big gaps in awareness of relationships among various forms of play for learning. Digicon dates from a pre-digital games era, yet models the continuity of design and application principles in using games for learning.
Dr Elyssebeth Leigh/FEIS University of Wollongong
IE ’14, Dec 2 – Dec 3 2014, Newcastle, AU, Australia.