Anyone here involved with education? Specifically game-based learning.
People say this a really hard space to sell products in because it's either sell to the parents of students who typically don't feel inclined, or sell to a school or district, which is a winner take all type situation. I know this isn't a one-to-one comparable situation, but here's something I think is worth thinking about: I've been picking up the drums recently and I've been using Clone Hero (a Guitar Hero clone for PC that has drum support) as an aid. (1/2)
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The drumming example is a good one. In that situation you have a very specific skill and the game itself acts as the tutor/teacher, so in effect you don't need a teacher in a classroom. Their role is totally augmented by the game. I'm interested in classroom base usage of games, and in a 'frugal' educational sense, the use of games that are free or cheap to implement (like paper-based or free browser games).
I couldn't reply to myself, so here's the gist of the rest of it: basically, I've put in probably 5x the time into playing than I would have without it. Something about the instant performance feedback, I think. As far as extending this to schoolwork, I think it's probably tough. It works in my case because I'm already motivated. How do you find/design a game that is applicable to subject matter and still fun without diluting the core goal?