Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quest Atlantis

The Design and use of simulation computer games in education Ed Shelton & Wiley
Chapter 7 "The Quest Atlantis Project"
Barab et al.

The paper questions whether the values of computer games are the ones we want for children, white male protagonists, sexualised women, tokenised minorities and violent themes. Even those with benign or empowering values are not grounded in the real world or critical in orientation.

"The space available for youths to express their agency has been reduced from several square miles to a mere computer screen, yet even that domain is appropriated by commerce... difficult to imagine spaces not touched in some way corporatised signs" I disagree, this is a bit dated, in the hundreds of square miles of World of Warcraft, I dont see a single sign.

"Quest Atlantis sits at the intersection of education, enertainment and social action."

Seems to be a series of projects set in the matrix of a game like dates in a pudding.
  • a 3d Multi user virtual environment
  • inquiry learning quests and unit plans
  • a storyline through video, novella and comic
  • community of participants
They can "build their personal persona through their homepage functions" may be modelled on Facebook or Myspace.

"Completing quests requires that children participate in academically meaningful activities , either in the real world ... or through simulation".

Data from over 3300 questers, a quest on plant and animal cells showed significant learning of conceptual understandings. A history quest resulted in a deep appreciation of how content related to their life and multiple perspectives. QA students had deeper character insights than those doing worksheets.

Students, particularly boys wrote more, resulting in "gender equitable" outcomes.

Players sent 50,000 lines of in game chat and 1500 in game emails.

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