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


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.


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

This year I managed to set aside time, travel inworld (in Second Life- all of a few inches fro my desk) and attend the first half of the Federal Consortium for Virtual World 2012 Conference held physically in at National Defense University in Washington, DC. In 2010 I attended virtually, and in 2011 not only attended, but also presented (see

It is a great event, and I wish I had the time to be there physically, but hey that’s what virtual worlds are for!

Some good roundups of this year’s sessions:

BTW- you can see a great pic of my friend and colleague Robert Daniel, doing his mind meld with the computer- scary stuff kids using that sensor on his head he can move objects!

So, some new things I learned this year-

From Jessie Schell– “we will develop a relationship with our avatars”.  Think about this next time you are talking with a virtual voice (over the phone or with a character)  in delight or in anger.

From Randy Hinrichs– “Virtuality” The idea that the virtual world, real world, can be blended as a form of augmented reality.

Related to this, James (Jim) Blascovich, c0-author of Infinite Reality, gave a talk on why virtual reality (including virtual worlds) are perceived as real and impact behavior and cognition (learning); what the mind sees, it believes.

I was asked recently of the learning applications of virtual worlds…ultimately they are somewhat limitless although at the end of the day there is still some training that requires physical conditioning and fine tactile, multimotor skills, e.g. firefighting, learning to snowboard, etc. On the other hand, virtual worlds allow training in environments that would be far too dangerous or labor intensive: dealing with a nuclear plant accident or shutting down an oil refinery.

Venture into any publicly accessible virtual world platform and you can find a diverse universe of applications. to learn more: join the FCVW, journey into Second Life, or see my recommended books on the subject.


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