Game-Based Learning Introduction – Austin Tate

Hello to everyone on the “Introduction to Game-Based learning” (EDIGBL) course. Another blog post introduces me, give a picture and shows my virtual worlds avatar “Ai Austin” for when we meet in places like Second Life.

I am a staff member in the School of Informatics at the Univertsity of Edinburgh and the School’s Coordinator for Distance Education. That’s one of the reasons I am taking the MSc in e-Learning as a student this year, to gain experience in distance education methods and see the experience from the student perspective. My research interests are in intelligent collaboration – see for example the “I-Room” – a virtual space for intelligent interaction. But I am also interested in digital media, design, social media and educational technology.

I have used collaborative social computer systems since the early days of MUD/MOOs and have used virtual worlds like Second Life and OpenSim a lot in my work. But my use is mostly for collaborative meetings. Except for joining in a few emergency response scenario training exercises in virtual worlds, I tend not to use them heavily in a game fashion. So I will be exploring alongside my classmates.

I dip into a range of computer games, but have only stuck with “games” like flight simulators (e.g. Microsoft Flight Simulator especially for hypersonic aircraft and spacecraft) and car racing (e.g. Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo) both of which are subjects that I generally am interested in in real life too.

I find the “try everything to see what moves” type puzzle games (such as Lara Croft Tomb Raider) frustrating and often end up stuck in the entry area or at Level 1!

What I find more interesting is actually creating the worlds , environments and craft used in such games. That’s what appeals to me about Flight Simulator and Second Life for example. I spend far more time creating things than actually “playing” with them.

Travels in February

I have a pre-commitment to travel for most of February, which the course tutor is aware of. Its important that anyone who I am teamed with for group activities realises that I will miss most of weeks 3 to 6. I will keep up to date and input where I can by e-mail but my connectivity will be limited.

EDIGBL Group for Blog Access and Commenting

My plan is to do most of the course specific blogging about experience in using games in a Holyrood Park restricted group just for the course members and tutors. If you can see this posting and comment on it then you are already in the group.

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