Learning to Play (cross listed over at gamecode.ca…

Learning to Play
(cross listed over at gamecode.ca, with some editing here)

I am heading into my final project for my CIN6011, exploring the ways that people learn to play (in reference to my own play sessions written about here over the last few months) and how people ‘learn’ or understand a film. I have been working with overlapping theories of identification and will continue to do so, but I am trying to look at the broader scope of methods.

There is ample information out there about learning in games, games as educational tools and whatnot (Gee, 2003; Squire, 2002, Steinkuehler, etc.). But I have recently been interested in how we learn to play games. From the seasoned gamer’s tactic of jumping right in and intuitively learning the interface, controls and whatever else is necessary in order to play – to the use of manuals, FAQ’s and walkthroughs. Besides the obvious, I have been trying to think of other tactics of learning to play in games. A recent presentation in one of my classes had me thinking about layered learning, where repetition is the method. Although it has been agreed that repetition in games can become tedious and ruin levels of immersion, it is also a necessary (evil?) for the player to understand the game in terms of in world physics, maps and strategies. Any thoughts or ideas (and references) would be greatly appreciated.

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