Rather, Salen and other planners are looking at how games naturally engage players and teach them new skills, and hope to apply those principles to create kids who not only ace their SATs, but are also well suited for the 21st century.
Games offer a context for problem-solving with immediate feedback, and often involve social interaction that can reinforce lessons learned, Salen wrote in a proposal. Combine that process with the skills that modern games encourage — like computer literacy and navigating through complex information networks — and you have the basis for a brand new pedagogy, Salen believes.
The planners will devote this year plotting a curriculum, and will test pieces of it in high school classrooms the following school year. Right now, the ideas are vague but intriguing: Alternate reality games could be used to study science, as those players typically seek out and analyze data, and then propose and test their hypotheses. Salen also envisions harnessing the creative urges that kids already express through fan fiction, blogging and the creation of avatars and online identities. —Eliza Strickland —A Win-Win Scenario: ‘Game School’ Aims to Engage and Educate (Wired)