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Child Neuropsychology

A blog by Dr Jonathan Reed

  • I attended the Games Based Learning conference this week to present research on Neurogames.  I also managed to hear some inspiring talks and people.  Here were the highlights for me:

    Learning about the Channel 4 games.  High quality games to encourage learning.  Examples included the 1066 game.

    Hearing Matt Mason talk on The Pirate’s Dilemma.  A great talk about the way culture has evolved with the help of copying and piracy and how business (and particularly the games business) could learn from this.  You can buy his book  The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Hackers, Punk Capitalists, Graffiti Millionaires and Other Youth Movements are Remixing Our Culture and Changing Our World or download it here

    Jesse Schell’s talk on the ‘Future is Beautiful’ in relation to education.    As always inspirational.   The slides are here

    Tom Chatfield Author of Fun Inc.: Why Games are the 21st Century’s Most Serious Business on the evolution of games.  In particular the point I appreciated was the way that games are starting to encourage co-operation, for example how players can help each out on the New Super Mario Brothers (Wii)

    Margaret Robertson’s talk on casual games and what they can teach us about educational games. Casual games are quick, funny, social, topical, simple  cheap female friendly and competitive and also none of these – can educational games emulate this?  Margaret’s blog is here .  She also introduced me to drop7 an addictive game for the iphone

    Overall I felt the that these exciting times for games based learning but that it is a very diverse field with a lot of uncertainty.  For example how do you fund this? How much education and how much entertainment? The role of learning experts in games.  Also there is a general uncertainty over where games are going – i.e cheap social gaming such as Farmville or high production games such as Call of Duty or both.  The uncertainty however may be just how it is and will always be and out of this messy uncertainty will arise failure and success and creativity.  It is a Darwinian world!

    My talk in the research strand was on developing a theory and evidence based game to help children learn reading and maths.  We presented research from my colleague Misbah Khan showing that Neurogames significantly improve reading and maths in children.  The slides from the presentation are here.


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