[In the Media] Review of The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning

John Palfrey from the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School wrote a recent article review on “The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning” publication which was edited by game designer and educator Katie Salen and was part of the MacArthur/MIT Press’s Digital Media and Learning series and included essays by Barry Joseph.

Barry Joseph, director of Global Kids, Inc., wrote the concluding essay on "treating games as a form of youth media within a youth development framework." His notion of game design as an element of making meaning through the creation of structures is a great addition to the thinking on semiotic democracy that I think is so crucial in this literature. His theory is well-grounded in experiences he's had with Global Kids, working with teachers and students and corporate supporters, which gives the piece an important series of links to reality that is often missing from our scholarly literature - without giving up the theoretical side.

Salen, Ito, Ondrejka, and Joseph's essays, among others in the book, led me to a conclusion out of the book: in some contexts, great forms of learning may come for some students using well-designed games, primarily of the construction genre. There's not yet sufficient evidence here, in my view, to turn over our entire educational system to games and virtual worlds, but there's plenty to learn from what some young people are doing in these environments during school time and otherwise.

Read the full article here.