Game Design Site (multiple pages indexed above)
Games, particularly video, computer, or mobile device games, have captured the hearts and minds of millions or even billions of people! These games are intriguing for several reasons. The most important is the compelling attraction of games to so many people. People who may be learning disabled or gifted students, followers and leaders, rich and poor, are intrinsically motivated to spend their precious hours playing! The second most important attraction of games is their legitimacy of "play" for young and old who otherwise may think play is something to outgrow. Finally, games are attractive because they appear to be powerful learning environments. Gamers learn at a ferocious rate to master skills in their favorite games. While this learning may not be the kind of learning that is culturally valued (like school learning), it raises the question, "Can games help children learn what we think is important?" This idea is not new as we can see by Marshall McLuhan's quote:
Anyone who makes a distinction between games and learning doesn’t know the first thing about either. ~Marshall McLuhan
Where Can I Try Some Games?
Here's a site where you can choose from thousands of games to play for free (hint: play the most popular or most recommended: http://www.kongregate.com
What Videos and Talks Will Teach Me More About Game Design?
Sid Meier's (designer of Civilization) Keynote at 2010 Game Design Conference on "Psychology of Game Design" (55 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY7aRJE-oOY (worth it just to hear Sid Meier!)
Shute, Valerie J., Rieber, Lloyd & Van Eck, Richard, Games ... and ... Learning. http://myweb.fsu.edu/vshute/pdf/shute%20pres_i.pdf
Games are thus the most ancient and time-honored vehicle for education… We don't see mother lions lecturing cubs at the chalkboard; we don't see senior lions writing their memoirs for posterity. In light of this, the question, ‘Can games have educational value?’ becomes absurd. It is not games but schools that are the newfangled notion, the untested fad, the violator of tradition. - Chris Crawford