What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen - with the aid of video games. Greg Toppo's The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners. Among the game revolutionaries you'll meet in this book:
- A game designer at the University of Southern California leading a team to design a video-game version of Thoreau's Walden Pond.
- A young neuroscientist and game designer whose research on "Math Without Words" is revolutionizing how the subject is taught, especially to students with limited English abilities.
- A Virginia Tech music instructor who is leading a group of high school-aged boys through the creation of an original opera staged totally in the online game Minecraft.
Experts argue that games do truly "believe in you." They focus, inspire and reassure people in ways that many teachers can't. Games give people a chance to learn at their own pace, take risks, cultivate deeper understanding, fail and want to try again--right away--and ultimately, succeed in ways that too often elude them in school. This book is sure to excite and inspire educators and parents, as well as provoke some passionate debate.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: A Kind of Ultimate Decadence: How I Got Curious about Video Games
Chapter 2: To the Moon and Back in Five Minutes: How Disdain for Centralized Authority and an Impulse to Play Brought Us “Supercomputers Everywhere”
Chapter 3: “Don’t Kiss the Engine, Daddy, or the Carriages Won’t Think It’s Real”: How Games Work by Getting Us a Little High
Chapter 4: The Game Layer: How Three Inventive Teachers Use Game Principles to Engage Students
Chapter 5: Math without Words: How Euclid Would Have Taught Math If He’d Had an iPad
Chapter 6: Rube Goldberg Brought Us Together: How a Group of New York City Teachers and Game Designers Are Redefining School
Chapter 7: “I’m Not Good at Math, but My Avatar Is”: How a Subversive Suburban Teacher Is Using World of Warcraft to Teach Humanities
Chapter 8: Project Unicorn: How a Heartless Media Conglomerate Could Spark a New Golden Age of Educational Gaming
Chapter 9: A Walk in the Woods: How a First-Person Game Based on Thoreau’s Walden Can Make Transcendentalism—and Reading—Cool Again
Chapter 10: Throw Trucks with Your Mind: How Video Games Can Help Heal ADHD, PTSD, and Depression—and Help Kids Relax
Chapter 11: The Opposite of Fighting: How Violent Video Games Really Affect Kids
Chapter 12: The Ludic Loop: How to Talk to Your Kids about Their Gaming Habits