The NDSU GAMES Project
GAMES are Graphically Advanced Multi-player
Educational Simulations. The GAMES idea is to create
multiplayer, educational, simulated worlds (sometimes called
synthetic or virtual worlds); then to populate those worlds with
authentic simulated artifacts (objects, devices, agents, and so
forth); and then to open that world to learners for exploration,
discovery, problem solving, and learning.
When playing in GAMES, a human learner is immersed in a
Reality-Oriented Learning Experience (ROLE). The players in a
ROLE-based environment actively participate in a sustained
problem-solving simulation. To succeed in these virtual worlds,
and to effectively play the GAMES, a learner will necessarily
master the concepts and skills required to play their
part in the ROLE-based environment.
ROLE-based learning is learning-by-doing, but not the mere goal
oriented "doing" of a task. ROLE-based learning is
learning-by-doing within the structure and context of playing a
role. Rather than simply teaching goal-based behavior and
task-oriented skills, ROLE-based learning teaches a way of
practice - where you do not just learn the law, but how to
"think like a lawyer".
The Big Picture
Virtual Environments for Education at NDSU
By putting a student in a world that
"sufficiently" models the domain you are teaching,
In order for this to work, the simulated world must be a)
predictable, b) compelling and engaging, c) reactive to the
students actions, and d) sensitive to the student's needs. A
GAMES world is:
- the student learns about that world
- the student learns their role in it
- the student learns about the domain.
- a) Predictable
- because it make sense in terms of the real world -- in other words, the simulation is "sufficiently authentic"
- b) Compelling and Engaging
- because a comic-like graphical interface (the MOOPort) presents the virtual world.
- c) Reactive
- because the game is built on an existing architecture for realtime multiplayer games (MUDs), using the most flexible implementation (Pavel Curtis's LambdaMOO, from Xerox PARC).
- d) Sensitive
- because there is a Proactive Tutor in the simulated world, watching the players' actions and informing them when they do something questionable.
- Complete List
- Slator, Brian M. and Harold "Cliff" Chaput.
Learning by Learning Roles: a virtual role-playing environment for
tutoring (1996) Proceedings of the Third International
Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS'96). Montreal:
Springer-Verlag, June 12-14, pp. 668-676. (Lecture Notes in
Computer Science, edited by C. Frasson, G. Gauthier, A. Lesgold)
(400 KByte Postscript file).
- Hooker, Robert and Brian M. Slator (1996).
A Model of Consumer Decision Making for a Mud Based
Game. Proceedings of the Simulation-Based Learning
Technology Workshop at the Third International Conference on
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS'96). Montreal, June 11,
pp. 49-58. (545 KByte Postscript file);
also in MicroSoft Word format, as a
198 KByte Macbinary file, and a
199 KByte Doc file, and a
270 KByte BinHex file.