Which is better, playing COTS games or building games?
"So, why do you think building games is better than playing off the shelf (COTS) games?
v. interesting to see world of warcraft in action the other night, with a young expert in control. Has he learnt more from playing or building?"
COTS games or game creation
Well firstly, what I see with WoW is different learning than I see discussed in relation to COTS. The COTS enthusiasts talk about using RollerCoaster Tycoon to look at kinematics or Age of Mythology to look at history. Its a bit of a square peg in a round hole, an attempt to sugar coat instruction.
What I see in WoW is that the game is the education, not the game is used for education. The learning relates to the social structures in WoW. Children get to interact with adults in teams and undertake team endeavours which require a high level of planning and coordination. They buy and sell at auction and learn about a market economy and much more.
Drama, art, music and sport have long been recognised as activities with educational value. The COTS stuff is a bit like saying that we'll use football to teach newtonian mechanics or use the school play to teach the times table!
Do you learn more from playing or building?
Is 10 apples > 15 oranges??
Its different learning. Game creation for mathematics, physics, metacognitive strategies and affective gains. WoW for the social skills that Clark Aldrich refers to .