ERIC Number: ED178394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966
Reference Count: 0
Games for Learning. Occasional Paper No. 7.
Abt, Clark C.
The author explores the utility of educational games in elementary and secondary social studies classes. Separate sections of the paper discuss types of games, similarities among formal games and social studies topics, educational game design, and examples, advantages, and limitations of educational games. Game playing in society is described as either formal or informal; formal games comprise three categories: showdown, strategy, and a combination of the two. A table of social studies topics which include the subject areas of history, geography, civics, and economics that can be broken down into elements common to formal games is presented. Next, the process of game design is explained in three steps: system analysis, simulation design, and refinement. System analysis defines the major actors in a process, their interactions, and their decision rules in responding to each others' actions. Following the discussion of game design, eight examples of educational games relevant to social studies and designed by the author are briefly described. The final section notes several advantages of games in the classroom setting: they present concrete problems in a simplified but dramatic form; the attention span of elementary school children is increased; the player gains a growing sense of structure among the game variables; and the games which simulate reality can present the great problems of contemporary society on a level of specific human action that directly relates the student's decisions to the larger world. Disadvantages are discussed in terms of teacher attitudes and the attractiveness of games to children. (KC)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Services, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Note: Document prepared through the Social Studies Curriculum Program