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The future of gaming


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Games based learning is one of the most important strategies for 21st Century education. We have enjoyed playing games since time immemorial, and video arcade games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders of the 1970's were just the start of the emergence of digital games. Recently, with the development of handheld controls (such as the Nintendo Wii), 3D screens (Nintendo 3DS) and non touch gestural and voice controls (Microsoft's XBox 360 Kinect) games have become increasingly captivating, and have an immersive quality. Games, whether digital or analogue, have the capability to motivate learners, challenge them to improve their dexterity, problem solving and reasoning skills, encourage teamwork and collaboration (Nemerow, 1996) - especially social games such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty - and performance is under constant peer review. These match some of the key skills required to succeed in the world of work where digital technology is prevalent. Thiagarajan (1998) believes that games have five major characteristics that are important for learning, These are conflict, control, closure, contrivance, and competency. Clearly, digital games have a great deal to offer the future of learning. So what can we expect of games based learning in the future?

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