Please be patient while I port the old pathfinder to its new format. Things will be updated as I find time. The pages of the pathfinder can be located using the drop down menu (serious games) above.


A guide designed to assist the user in researching a particular discipline or topic. A pathfinder identifies key subject headings related to the topic, important reference books, periodical indexes, journals and other resources available at the local library. Sources on the World Wide Web are usually also included. Pathfinders can be printed or available online. [source: www.cariboo.bc.ca/library/guides/glossary.html]

A few links on Pathfinders I have found very useful: http://mciu.org/~spjvweb/pathfinder.html



Serious Games: The use of computer and video games for non-entertainment purposes (i.e., public policy, education, corporate management, healthcare, military).

Digital Game-Based Learning [DGBL]: The use of computer and video games specifically for educational purposes.

Learning that is facilitated by the use of digital games, either custom designed for the purposes of education, or commercial off the shelf (COTS) games used in educational contexts.

The use of computer and video games for learning is an emerging area of research, and interest is growing rapidly. As a sub-field of Serious Games, Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL) poses some unique problems and challenges. As more and more young people grow up with digital games as one of their primary forms of entertainment, it behooves us to become familiar with this genre, how it affects people, and how we might use it for educational goals. Computer technology has advanced to the point where it is feasible (we now have the horse-power to accomplish this) to use games in a classroom setting. “Computer pioneer Alan Kay (DARPA in the '60s, PARC in the '70s, then HP Labs) declares 'The sad truth is that 20 years or so of commercialization have almost completely missed the point of what personal computing is about.' He believes that PCs should be tools for creativity and learning, and they are falling short.”

About This Pathfinder:

Note: Against good advice, I have included many images - people, company logos, brands, and other trademarks. They are used without express permission [I have linked the image to the appropriate home page where-ever possible, which I am hoping compensates for the thefts]. I've put them in here for several reasons:

  1. I am terrible with names. If I can tie something to an image, I find it easier to recall.
  2. I like to remember (or find out) what people look like - it makes things a little more personal.
  3. It adds colour and interest.
  4. It's fun.

I ask in advance for forgiveness - many of the images, logos, and descriptions are lifted directly from elsewhere. I do not have express permission to use any of them. As this pathfinder has been created primarily for my own use, I have organized it in a way that is convenient for me. I have made every effort to provide a link to the source (of the image, logo, text, etc.) in the place where the item appears. I cut and pasted some of the descriptions because I thought it was better to let each group speak for itself, as it were, rather than try and make up something new. If there are any errors, please help me to fix them. If you object to my using your quote/logo/photo, please let me know and I'll remove it.

Scope, and Bounds

This is where I try and clarify the domain covered by this pathfinder and the limits of what it might include.

Focus: Digital Game Based Learning

Learning that happens when playing video (electronic) games, whether they be specifically designed to 'teach' or not.

I.D. for serious games. Bridging the design strategies of both Games Designers and Instructional Designers.

How learning with games differs from learning in other ways and with other media.

The use of Serious Games to teach. Use of computer games in school settings.

What we can learn about educational games design from successful commercial games. Pedagogy and learning objectives as evidenced in and implemented by “good” games. Digital games and higher-order thinking skills.

Digital Games as a vehicle for Experiential Learning

Digital Games as they relate to Motivational Design

Cultures of On-Line Gaming Communities and their relationship to School Communities

Learning in (Massively) Multi-player Role Playing Games

Games; Puzzles; Simulations; Some Toys; where all or part of the artifact is software. This may include such devices as the Lego Mindstorms Robots.

Violence in games, except as it relates to learning & school culture.

Adult content games (games rated 'M', or 'A').

Gender Issues in games and gameplay.

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  • Last modified: 2012/03/29 01:45
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