Tina's Reviews > What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy

What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee
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's review
Feb 01, 2011

liked it

I'm just reading this for an exam (I chose the book myself, i had bought it a few years back because I thought the topic interesting). I must say, as much as I wanted to like it, it it horribly written. Most parts are very dry and unnecessarily laden with scientific jargon. It is also overly wordy. The ideas themselves are excellent and interesting, but written in a way that exactly the people who could and should make use of them will probably never finish the book. It also lacks practical examples. Gee gives a string of 36 principles of learning (they are actually more observations and opinions than anything else) that he found in video games and that can be applied to learning in other areas (schools for example). But how to apply them practically is left for the reader to ponder. And that is almost impossible, considering the principles are also written in such convoluted terms that it is improbable that many people will understand what he has to say at all. Too bad, because I think there are a few hidden gems.[return]Another point is that the principles he found don't really have a backing in research. He bases them mostly on his own experience playing games and watching his little son play them.

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Apostolos I completely disagree with you. This book is really easy to read; I got through it in my commutes to/from work in just under two weeks. It was easy to understand and one could put the principles into use with a little imagination. Why is it that people expect to be told what to do and how to do it? Educational contexts, content and learners vary so much that wasting space on a book giving you examples is meaningless.

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