Games, Learning and Society Conference #gls14 – Part 2
For an overview of the Playful Learning pre conference day click on the above pic, it will take you to the storify of tweets.
The term cheating was mentioned in the keynote address, it attracted discussion with regard to meaning and use of the term via the twitter stream and during question time. Some did not like the term and wanted to replace it with the word hack, others embraced the term. However, my thoughts are that it is important to use terminology that is appropriate to the context. Within games creating and using cheats is a common practice. In the creation of cheats gamers are demonstrating their understanding and willingness to pass on their knowledge. It was noted in the keynote that we use cheats everyday, yet we don’t assign the term cheat due to the context. For example, we might use google maps when travelling in an unfamiliar city. Cheats are a reference point, they don’t necessarily provide the end point but rather a way of getting there – you still need to get there of your own accord.
I think the hardest part of accepting the words cheating or cheats is the negative connotation it is connected to in a non gaming environment. However, we should not let this stop us from using a rich environment to challenge and support our student’s learning. If a student is using a game as part of their learning then finding appropriate cheats requires skills in searching, skimming through information and knowing when to read deeply (or watch). If a student is creating cheats for a game they are able to participate in forums that are authentic, not to mention being able to communicate effectively is a priority.
Above all else the most important thing for our students to learn, and enact, is to think critically and act ethically. Maybe this is why the word cheat is such a hard word for many of us to accept?