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/ log / 31st Dec, 2011

Sustainable games in education

  1. Sat, 31st Dec 2011
  2. 0 Comment
  3. e-Learning
  4. Game
  5. sustainability
  6. development

Educational games, digital educational games, immersive digital educational games, serious games or whatever term you use for them … they have become not only a main-streaming topic of research. They have already become a marketing buzz-word for writing research proposals in non-games research as I recently had to notice. But despite of this development the conception and development of such games still remains in the unsustainable paths of the former e-learning development.

Roundabout the change of the millennium e-learning had become something like the new era of education: Politics funded the development of e-learning platforms and content. And it seemed everybody in whatever area of research started e-learning projects. Well, more than 300 million Euros were to be poured out on german universities 1.
Within this rush the over-all view of e-learning was neglected. It was not seen as a whole; As just a new way of implementing learning with other and new possibilities. Instead interactive and multi-media pushed forward. They were the eye-catchers of e-learning — geared toward the media. In many cases ‘good’ e-learning was measured by the interactive fragments, not by successful and didactically adequate (but unspectacular) implementation of whole courses. There is no doubt that the funding has leapt e-learning forward in several aspects. But the sustainability of most projects is questionable. Many projects have disappeared or are not developed any further 1. Another great part of the multimedia elements will disappear in the near future. They will be outpaced by the general technical advance because of missing further development and support; because there are usually no sustainable development models for this time-consuming but not indispensable learning content.

Research and development of educational games seem to be going the same way: Games are not developed according to advanced and challenging learning scenarios but to chunks that depend on the limited funding of public grants. Only projects realizable within these limits are approached, restricting them mostly to primary school or basic educational topics 2. Compared to the financial possibilities of commercial development, public grants do not allow major steps forward. New development models for educational games are needed if the potential of games — especially for advanced educational topics — shall be achieved/reached.

  1. Haug S, Wedekind J. „Adresse nicht gefunden “Auf den digitalen Spuren der E-Teaching-Förderprojekte. In: Dittler U, ed. E-Learning: Eine Zwischenbilanz. …. Münster: Waxmann Verlag GmbH; 2009:19-37.
  2. Pivec M, Pivec P. Imagine Final Report. Graz; 2009. Available at: http://www.imaginegames.eu/eng/content/download/666/3771/file/Imagine Report Final_1.0.pdf.


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