Using Digital Simulations to Engage Kids

MACE 2008 by Glenn Wiebe


  • 3D online virtual environments are going to be huge — THUS — will need programmers, story writer, artists to create these environments
  • Military — one of bigest users of video games in world
  • Game developers listen to brain researchers and apply what they are finding while education mostly ignofre this research

Brain research

  • Brain demands more challenges; wants to learn and solve more problems
  • Discrete datat doesn’t make sense — it has to be in context in patterns that make sense
  • Emotional chemicals increase cognitivie activity
  • Brains like to work with other brains

Gaming in relation to brain research

  • Games provide structured patterns
  • Games create emotional connections
  • Games encourage collaborative learning
  • Randomness is built into games — games cannot easily be mastered

“You don’t learn because ou are engaged. You are engaged because you are learning.” Nick deKanter of Muzzy Lane Software


  • Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad Is Good for You.
  • Beck, John C. and Mitchell Wade. Got Game.
  • Prensky, Marc. Don’t Bother Me, Mom — I’m Learning.

Social Studies Central


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