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The Work of Play
Meaning-Making in Videogames429
Some educational researchers claim that videogames can energize learning in both traditional and non-traditional contexts; cultivate skills more useful to a changing economy; and present information in ways more appealing to students. The notion of "serious games" dates back as early as the 1950s, but so far has failed to make a significant lasting impact on what goes on in education. The Work of Play is an attempt to describe such learning on the micro-level, capturing the moment-by-moment interactions between players and showing how meanings are shaped over time. It builds on anthropological methods, including ethnography and conversation analysis, to re-construct how situated learning occurs and how players' perception of the game evolves as their experiences with the game change. This is a valuable book for researchers and for classroom use at the upper-division undergraduate and graduate levels.
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Aaron Chia Yuan Hung is a graduate from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he studied interaction between players and videogames through an interdisciplinary approach that included anthropology, ethnomethodology, linguistics, new literacy studies, and game studies. His works have been published in the Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education and E-Learning and Digital Media. He has been an adjunct professor at Adelphi University, Long Island University, and Montclair State University.