Wednesday, April 05, 2006


In reply to Graham Wegner

When I learnt that Marc Prensky would be in Australia, I jumped at the opportunity. In collaboration with ACMI and DE&T the ASISTM Games Cluster was able to bring him to Melbourne. Marc is an excellent communicator and was able to fill the venue easily, something that would be harder to achieve with an Australian speaker. We were able to spread the message about games in education to a wide audience.

Richard Van Eck, in his paper Digital Game- Based Learning It’s Not Just the Digital Natives Who Are Restless suggests that proponents of digital game-based learning (DGBL) should move from the promotion of DGBL to a critical analysis of DGBL.

“Like the person who is still yelling after the sudden cessation of loud music at a party” we now have the world’s attention and its time to do critical analysis of what exactly we are promoting. Though I don't agree with his conclusion that we should adopt off the shelves games ahead of game making, he makes a good point.

Its a bit like the 80's and Logo. The educational literature of the day was strong on advocacy but weak on analysis. There was lots of hype but a shallowunderstanding of the pedagogy, teachers were understandably disappointed and Logo got a bad name.

We are fortunate in Australia to have world class practitioners of DGBL. To mention some, there's Bill Kerr, Margaret Meijers, Al Upton and Mark Piper and the Games In Learning group.

Doug Johnson is right, part of our national psyche is a totally undeserved inferiority complex. We need to recognise the position of leadership we hold in game programming and as Doug says "I do hope you start recognizing and speaking more of the contributions you make"

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