Handbook of Simulationg Gaming in Social EducationRon’s book originally released in 1974 has been expanded, and is available in e-book format at Amazon. Newly released paperback edition now also available.

What is an “e-book”? An e-book is a digital file which is delivered to an e-reader, via the internet or a wireless network.

What is an “e-reader”? Amazon’s  various kindle devices available at the “Kindle Store”, are the most widely know and used e-readers.

I don’t want to buy an “e-reader”. You don’t have to. Amazon’s “Cloud Reader” allows you to read books on-line from your internet browser.

Ghost from the past.

If any of you are old enough to have been members of NASAGA back in the 1970s you might remember me. I was the Director of Experiential Learning with the Institute of Research and Services at the University of Alabama .

I am sure that computer simulation games will continue to develop more ways to increase our learning potential, My question is this: Are non-computer simulation games still a valuable part of educational teaching methods? From my personal experiences here and in China , it would seem to me that they are for a couple of reasons.

For one reason many schools here in the USA and in China do not have the funds to provide their students with computers. The students in these schools are the ones that could benefit the most from experiential learning techniques like simulation games.

I also feel that people to people SG provide a type of experience that interacting with someone else through a computer can not provide. But maybe this is an assumption that is not valid. I have used computer simulation in China and the students love it. But I have only been able to find ones that deal with cognitive knowledge and skill training. I guess when we get to the point that Star Trek holodecks are available we will have the absolute simulation game. And from what I have been reading in the literature, we may not be very far away.

In the “olden days”,’Garry Shirts’ “Starpower” and Fred Goodman’s
“They Shoot Marbles Don’t They” are classic examples of open model games. Dove Toll’s “Ghetto” and Richard Powers’ “Commons” are classic examples of closed model games. They provide interactions between participants that do not seem possible with computers.

Let me give you an illustration. I was using “Starpower” at a conference of schools’ principals. One of the principals became so upset that he picked up a hand full of chips and threw them across the room and said “You can’t do that, it’s not fair.” Also, when players had trading session they had to shake the person’s hand. They would then have to make a trade that they both agreed on or stand there and hold hands until the end of the trading session. When I led them through the EIAG debriefing session, we produced generalizations that were not just cognitive but in the affective realm.

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