Massively multiplayer virtual world for teens Whyville
Richard Carey has posted earlier this week a must-read article, The Future of Video Games: The Kids Are Alright, where he recaps “the long strange trip it’s been, since video games were seen as nothing more than a waste of time until recently when the conversation has shifted to how Serious Games are an ideal learning environment".
Richard Carey also highlights the work of Dr. Jim Bower, a computational neuroscientist at the University of Texas and the CEO of Numedeon, publishers of the massively multiplayer virtual world for teens Whyville.net.
He was on a panel “The Future of Video Games” and interviewed at the South By Southwest festival earlier this year, portions of which were recently published on the September 2010 issue of Discover Magazine, and discussed why he thinks video games are good for learning.
Looking at whether video games are different from other forms of play, Dr. Jim observes: “We look at this thing and we think it’s new. It’s not. This is something we’ve made in our own image. What we’re doing is trying to capture how humans really learn, how humans really interact, and how humans really build their societies. And in fact (we’re finding) it’s not new at all. It’s very old. The problem is, for the last 600 years we’ve been doing it wrong (and until now) we haven’t had the technology to do it right.”
The videos for the entire panel discussion, moderated by Discover’s Amos Zeeberg, with Tiffany Barnes (University of North Carolina), Lucy Bradshaw (Maxis), Anne McLaughlin (North Carolina State), can be found on the same Richard Carey’s post at http://richardcarey.net/2010/08/the-future-of-video-games-the-kids-are-going-to-be-alright/.