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educators program

Fake Fun: Transforming the Challenges of Learning Into Play

Wednesday, 3 August, 5:15 - 5:55 pm
Room 502B

In the spring of 2004, a small first-person shooter game engine was adapted as the basis for a non-violent educational game titled "Go Fish." Produced within the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the project was surprisingly modest, but the insight it generated was remarkable. Structural differences between play and education were exposed. Resolving these differences, completing the project, and making sure that it was both fun and educational required merging educational content into individual acts of play. The result was an attempt to solve the problem of "Fake Fun": the lack of enjoyment found in educational games. Bypassing the finer points of the narratology vs. ludology debate and remaining within conservative educational boundaries, the authors hope to provide simple, practical advice for those seeking to transform educational challenges into challenges of play.

Stephen L Guynup
University of Baltimore
steve_guynup (at)

Jim Demmers
Georgia Tech Research Institute