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Education Feature: 'Compulsory Game Development'

Today's Gamasutra educational feature, part of the expanded Gamasutra Education section of the site, argues for the benef...
Today's Gamasutra educational feature, part of the expanded Gamasutra Education section of the site, argues for the benefits of a more game literate society in the research of PhD Jacob Habgood. Habgood, who asserts that everyone from children and parents to journalists and academics could enrich their understanding of games by creating one of their own, describes his background and inspiration for research in the following extract: "Three years ago, I left the games industry to begin a PhD researching the educational potential of computer games. I was lucky enough to be offered a scholarship by Nottingham University’s Learning Sciences Research Institute to pursue my own research agenda. Developing games had played such a pivotal role in my own creative and intellectual development that this seemed like the obvious place to begin my research. Fortunately, novice programming has come a long way since the days of BASIC, so I was able to teach seven year olds how to make their own games using a picture-based programming tool called Stagecast Creator. The project was a huge success and so popular with the children that my wife (who is a teacher at the school) took over the club and still struggles to keep up with the demand. It also gave me my first insight into the motivational power of games in an educational context, and sparked some of the main ideas behind my thesis research." You can read the full Gamasutra educational feature on the topic to gain insight into Habgood's views on game literacy (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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