An academic named James Gee told lecture attendees at the Games, Learning, and Society Conference in Wisconsin that game and virtual world developers have a better handle on how to foster "passionate communities for learning" than most teachers do. He used World of Warcraft as an example of excellent game design that creates communities that share information and solve problems together.

He also referenced Second Life, telling the story of a girl who started using Photoshop to make clothes for her Sims in The Sims. She went on to start a business selling her fashions in Linden Labs' virtual economy. "Education isn't about telling people stuff," said Gee. "It's about giving them tools that enable them to see the world in a new and useful way." Gee argued that game developers know how to do that, and that educators should learn from their example.

Gamasutra has some more quotes and analysis, but the sum of it all is that Gee believes that since delivering raw information to students' brains isn't going to work in a rapidly changing, postmodern world, they should be trained to come up with their own unique ideas in response to all the data that makes up the complex system that is our society. So, think emergent gameplay, but real!

This article was originally published on Massively.
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