Gamification, torture and Escape from Woomera

I don’t normally do this but I am copying a  comment I had posted at Play The Past regards the Gamification of Interrogation article.

It may be entirely coincidental that in the same day I was tweeted this post:…or perhaps not. One issue for me on integrating games into the curriculum is that it may take away freedom from students who
a. don’t want to learn information through the games in the curricula or
b. are adept at finding information directly, and not hidden through games which are acting less as games and more as “behavioral skinner boxes.”
One game (well HL1 game mod) you may be interested in looking at further does not feature explicit acts of torture but does have the interesting aspect of the player trying to extract information from illegal immigrant detainees is “Escape from Woomera”. See

Postscript: I wrote the above as a shorthand way of trying to encapsulate the following thoughts:

-readymade jargon, such as “digital natives”, web 2.0″, “new media”, gamification” et al are often less useful than they first appear.

-just because something is game-like does not necessarily mean it is morally or otherwise desirable.

-the extra effort required to make something “game-like” should be considered against the extra resources required-is it necessary or even desirable?

-to gamify learning content may make the learning content easier, but perhaps making learning content easier (as in apparently more accessible) does not make it more effective.


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