Books on Games, Virtual Worlds, Simulations, Cognitive Studies, and Performance Improvement

In the cue-

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal

Reading-

Neuromancer by William Gibson; an old science fiction/cyberpunk book, but where much of the thinking on VR/VWs got started. I guess Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson would come next.

Read-

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education by Karl Kapp

Fun Inc.: Why Gaming Will Dominate the Twenty-First Century by Tom Chatfield

Infinite Reality by Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson
Note: great book. Well worth the read. Will post a blog once I digest my thoughts on this.

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration (Essential Knowledge Resource (Pfeiffer)) by Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll

Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction (Jossey-Bass Guides to Online Teaching and Learning) by Clark Aldrich

Previous Posts



Held at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in the beautiful capital of Pennsylvania, LEEF is focused on gaming, simulation, and virtual world uses for education. I presented a brief overview of the reasons and process of developing the Hurricane Shelter Simulation Course we developed at CUNY SPS for the NYC Office of Emergency Management (see other posts below for more info). Posting on this to come.

Key learning points from this conference:

Imperial College London uses SL for medical training and proofs of concept, trying out a new infusion pump. They have also conducted a critical incident simulation around a dirty bomb scenario at a sporting arena.

Doug Maxwell of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) presented on Design Principles for Virtual Worlds (see Defense Gametech below; I heard Doug speak there as well). Some of his key points:

  • Try out different VWs to get a good idea of what affordances they offer.
  • Make sure that you differentiate between orientation and the actual training.
  • Where are you going to draw your content from? Make sure to pay attention to IP rights.
  • Who is going to create this? Do you have in-house labor,  students or developers, to build the 3D objects?

Doug spoke about theor MOSES Project and Big World (EDGE).

James Neville of Siterma, the World in 4D, gave a very thought provoking presentation Entertainment and Relaxation in Virtual Worlds

  • We expand when we relax and we grow when we expand.
  • We relax in the presence of novelty.
  • In a virtual world novelty needs to have sufficent detailing, different people, and a variety of conversations.
  • Theme is a gel; it is the net unifying idea that influences your operation, experience, & conduct.

In brief, in order to be entertained:

  • To be entertained in a virtual world it needs to have novelty, detail, other people (who can entertain them).



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