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Topic: First Impressions of Dimenxian
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Subject:   RE: First Impressions of Dimenxian
Author: jwm462
Date: Oct 2 2006
I wish I could give you some actual classroom data on the subject, but as a
design student and from personal experience, I can at least tell you that in
general there is a greater response to the "flashier" types of interfaces than
the more static, plain styles of games.  The plain-style game interfaces just
seem like a step in the wrong direction to me, it would be a lot cheaper,
faster, and easier to produce 10 graphical problems on a piece of paper then to
write a program that gives students 10 problems in a row--although I'm all for
saving trees.  

I'm glad to see that certain companies are finally devoting time to games like
Dimenxian, because I do believe that the education field could use this type of
technology.  However, the main problem that I could forsee with games like this
is the tendency to learn the game, and not the concepts.  Although we want these
games to be fun, exciting, and engaging, if we blow students away with graphics
and explosions, they're not going to be concentrating on the concepts; I think
we need to find a healthy balance.

I don't know if games could ever reach a point where they completely replace
traditional methods of classroom teaching, but then again, 30 years ago people
would have laughed at the idea of the average school having computers at all.  I
can, however, see a great use for these types of games as replacement for
traditional pen-and-paper homework assignments.  Realistically, no matter
what you do, you won't be able to have 100% of students wanting to do their
homework (30% that actually want to do work outside of school hours would be
amazing), but I think that games like these could at least make the assignments
somewhat enjoyable.

~Jim

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