It looks like the Game Wars have begun at Learning Solutions Magazine.

Ruth Clark posted this last week on Why Game’s Don’t Teach.

Karl Kapp joined the fray this week with: Once Again Games Can and Do Teach.

Ruth’s big throw-down was this:

“A couple of recent technical reviews have carefully evaluated documents on games, looking for credible evidence of what works. The consistent conclusion is that there is insufficient well-designed experimental research on which to base many conclusions. For example, Hays initially identified 274 documents on the design, use, and evaluation of games. Of these, he discarded 62 percent because they were opinion-based rather than data-based. His final review included 105 documents, of which 48 reported empirical evidence of game effectiveness. Based on the 48 studies, he concluded that there is no evidence to indicate that games are the preferred instructional method in all situations, allowing, however, that some games can provide effective learning for a variety of learners for several different tasks such as math, electronics, and economics.”

Karl’s response was:

“In a paper titled “Does Game-based Learning Work? Results From Three Recent Studies,” the author, Richard Blunt of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) group, reported on three causal-comparative exploratory studies. ADL, founded in 1997, works with business and university groups to develop consensus around standards for training software as well as associated training services purchased by federal agencies.”

In a word, it looks like a Difference of Opinion. Officially. Would love to get these two heavyweights in an ID cage match and see who comes out on top.

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