We have the evidence and the design tools to demonstrate that digital games are powerful learning tools. Whether we choose to take advantage of the opportunity before us is a completely different question.
BiographyRichard Van Eck is Associate Professor and Graduate Director of the Instructional Design & Technology program at the University of North Dakota (idt.und.edu). He received his Ph.D. in instructional design and development from the University of South Alabama. He was on the instructional design faculty at the University of Memphis for 5 years, where he was also a member of the Institute for Intelligent Systems and the committee chair for the Center for Multimedia Arts in the FedEx Institute of Technology. He has published and presented extensively in the field of digital game-based learning, including the featured cover story of Educause Review, book chapters on building intelligent learning games and on the future of DGBL as a field, seven keynote presentations and eleven invited speaking engagements from 2005 to 2007. He also has dozens of publications and presentations on his research in intelligent tutoring systems, pedagogical agents, authoring tools, and gender and technology, is currently conducting research on games and training with the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at UND and is designing a game to teach middle school students about air pollution. He has taught a digital game-based learning graduate course every year since 2001.
Fears that violent videogames will cause people to be more violent are understandable, but unsupported by current research — social and developmental factors are better predictors of violent behavior. In fact, some violent videogames may actually lead to the development of empathy, understanding, and even moral behavior.
Craig Westman and Penny Bouman