Wednesday, 25 July 2007

comments on "Boundary Characteristics" Draft

Stephen Downes comments

Article proposing a theoretical framework for understanding pedagogical games. I liked the division of four types of 'space': physical space, virtual space, augmented space, and imaginary space (one wonders what Kant would have said). The list of "Boundary Characteristics" (boundary conditions?) of games is also interesting, through probably incomplete. The idea of these boundary conditions is that they are range-like properties of a game that may have pedagogical implications. Take, for example, the 'permeability' of a game. Does outside wisdom and knowledge impact game performance, the way it does in Jeopardy (and not so much in checkers)? Do existing power structures impact game performance (the way, say, playing golf against your boss is different from playing golf against your best friend)? The article mostly just lists the concepts; some more explanation would have been useful. [my emphasis]

Thank you for the good analogy to explain the power permeability. :-)

Clickable Culture links for 2007-07-24
"Game environments may be constructed in any of the following [...]: Physical space... Virtual space... Augmented space... Imagined space..." Unfortunate conceit that 3D simulation is "real" whereas text is "imagined." No mention of 2D graphics at all.

I believe there are grounds for improvement for the paper. Tony Walsh must have read the paper in a hurry! 3D simulation is a simulation which models the real world. 3D simulation is of course NOT real. I don't think I wrote that.
2D graphical representation is a special case of virtual environment. The computer is providing all the visual information to help user/player to create the sense of space.
Space described by text (or another other means) which requires the user/player to fill in missing parts is referred to as "Imagined space" in the paper.

1 comment:

Tony Walsh said...

I might have read the paper in a hurry, but I was perceptive enough to find a hole in it right away :P

You say that "2D graphical representation is a special case of virtual environment."

I agree, however 2D graphical representation is an extremely common form of representation in game space. You define Virtual space under the subheading "Different types of game space," but I'm getting the impression you meant to describe "learning environments" rather than "game space."

Incidentally, 3D space doesn't always have to be used to represent reality. The word "virtual" carries with it the historic connotation that it intends to mirror reality closely. By your revised definition, a better word to describe a computer-generated environment might be "digital" rather than "Virtual."

Lastly, if your definition of Imagined space is that which requires the player to fill in the missing parts, I submit that 3D graphical representation--such as that found in modern computer games and virtual worlds--is Imagined. In such spaces, the player doesn't see "true" 3D, only a representation of 3D which lacks all the information a Physical space provides. The rest is Imagined. Same goes for 2D, which is most often used to represent 3D without a true third dimension.