So today the wife and I went to the home and garden show at the fair grounds. Had a lovely time, too, came up with some great ideas of what we want to do with the new house once we move. Primarily yard stuff, which is low on our list of items to get done, but also got the names of some contractors who might be able to help with some of the internal stuff we need done (particularly that horrible, ugly, nasty kitchen and bathroom that looks like the Partridges meet the Adams). After, we went to Au Poitin Stil for lunch, my favorite Irish restaurant in the world (lovely buffalo burger they have there... no wonder Buffalo Bill kept shooting them, he was damned hungry all the time).
So while chatting and watching college basketball (ok, I was mostly watching basketball... sorry baby), I noted a brief commercial for the History channel and one of their shows, which features recreations of famous dog fights using CGI to highlight the course of each battle. I started thinking of other shows which do similar things, and even another History channel show which recreates historic battles using game software ("Medieval: Total War").
Thinking about all this, it becomes intriguing how much computers and gaming have infiltrated the fabric of our daily lives, not just our entertainment choices. Even a simple documentary will resort to the use of game tools to present an intriguing story or reveal details that are otherwise difficult to present. Equally amazing is how many of us simply take this for granted, not considering the deeper ramifications of what we are witnessing.
Games are no longer just games. Games are simulations that can present to us new information that we might have missed otherwise. As Gee argues in his books, games are transcending their intent and becoming highly educational tools. The easier to play and create, and the more realistic they get, the more they will be entwined with the things we do. I would not at all be surprised to start seeing high school courses such as math or history taught with a game as part of the core of the learning environment. More experiential learning will be the future. No, not ALL the future, not the ONLY future... but a part of the future.
Maybe I should have titled this: "This Classroom Brought to You By: EA, Microsoft, and the Number Forty Two".....