Games, Learning and Habits

More from Grand Text Auto: discussion of Night of a Thousand Boyfriends, a choose-your-own-adventure thing for adults.

Instructional Technology Guru Clark Aldritch is blogging at Learning Circuits and finding some great stuff. first, pointing to Innovate magazine, a free registration-required journal of online learning, which links, ironically enough to other Aldritch pieces.

Aldritch on the conflict between business and education

. Businesses rail against classrooms, even their own training classes. Corporate people love to complain about training classes. “Classes don’t work!” “Training doesn’t teach anything.” “No one ever learned anything of important in a classroom.” Many training books and training professionals love quoting high profile individuals (such as CEO’s or brand-name consultants) hacking at classrooms, thinking “beyond the classroom.” If you listened to all of them talk, you would assume that employees are spending half of the lives trapped in basement lectures. Most people spend less time in classes than they spend waiting in line at their organization’s cafeteria. It reminds me a bit of the supporters of the a flag burning amendment. I wish people wouldn’t burn the American flag as much as anyone, but as far as I can tell, there is just not an epidemic of flag burning. And there sure is no epidemic of too much classroom training. The railing is really just posturing.

Clive Thompson opposes cut-scenes in video games:

n my more cynical moments, I think this whole pursuit of narrative is the industry’s sneaky way of forcing gamers to buy more products. When a game has a story that “ends” after 40 hours of play, you have to throw it awayand go spend another $50 on the next title. That’s movie-industry logic, not game logic. Chess doesn’t “end.” Neither do hockey, bridge, football, Go, playing with dolls, or even Tetris. Worse, by selling “narratives,” game publishers can cover up the fact that they rarely create truly new forms of play. In any given year, I’ll play a dozen first-person shooters with different storiesSave the world from Martian devils! Penetrate an island full of genetic freaks! that are all, at heart, exactly the same game.

Rune Klevjer defends the practice from a pedagogical point of view.

Stephanie Burns on installing a new habit. See also lifehut’s tips to life.

My favorite anthropologist asks why people tend not to order large drinks in the drive through.

Paul Graham on open source and business. I have not read this piece entirely yet. I want to savor it.