Fabricatore, Carlo and López, Ximena (2009) Gaming and the Scientific Mind: Designing Games to Develop the Scientific Mind. In: Third Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM2009), 2009, May 10-14, Cairo, Egypt. (Unpublished)

The necessity of fostering learning and the development of the scientific mind calls for the exploitation of all the available means that may contribute to a life-long process of development and renovation of the scientific mentality, in both an individual and collective way, and in a
situated manner, transcending formal educational contexts and scientific environments.
Amongst such means, digital games deserve a specific attention. In fact, gaming and games (especially digital games) engender a huge potential to allow enhancing learning processes and contributing to the development of the scientific mind. Such potential can be approached and
understood from two different perspectives: playing games and making games.
From a player's perspective, playing videogames can be conceptualized as a problem-solving activity that requires learning in order to progress and achieve the goals of the game. In fact, players are engaged in activity that resemble scientific processes, since they are required to
identify/define problems to be solved, hypothesize and plan solutions, figure out how to use the available resources, and test the hypotheses, carrying out the planned courses of action through game playing activities.
From a game designer's perspective, making games can be seen as an activity that requires transdisciplinary team efforts to create, plan, test and discuss ideas in an iterative way, in order to understand the dynamics and elements involved in game playing, and design a system which the
player will have to interact with.
To exploit this double-faced potential, it is necessary to acquire knowledge regarding the phenomenon of gaming, and how games can enhance learning and contribute to developing scientific thinking.


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