9-3 | Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change

Book Review

Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change

Karen Schrier
Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. Acknowledgments, introduction, notes, and index. 270 pp. $34.95 cloth. ISBN: 9781421419206

by Ian Andrew Johnston and C. Shawn Green

First Paragraph:

Although the term “video games” no doubt still spurs, at least in some individuals, thoughts of “mindless entertainment” that is primarily “for kids,” the current scientific consensus holds that video games, in fact, can be incredibly powerful tools, with a wide range of applications beyond entertainment. Indeed, today there are already video games that train individuals to perform better such difficult and complex jobs such as endoscopic surgery; to rehabilitate medical patients who have visual, cognitive, and motor deficits; to teach children scholastic content; and to spur interest in solving major societal problems. And in retrospect, these various functions may not be surprising. After all, if video game developers could become adept at teaching players to “rescue a princess” or “find a hidden treasure” more effectively, it would stand to reason that they could also become adept at teaching players’ other skills or knowledge.