Game as a learning tool
By the word game it is difficult to choose a scientific definition in the strict sense of the word, since to this phenomenon it is possible to attribute various actions in which it is difficult to single out any unifying beginning.
In everyday consciousness, the word game is associated with the concepts competition & quot ;, confrontation & quot ;, imitation & quot ;, imitation & quot ;, frivolity & quot ;, convention, model etc. Sometimes a game is defined as an unproductive activity, where the process is important, not the result.
The game as a kind of activity is clearly not aimed directly at achieving concrete practical results, but as the well-known psychologist SL Rubinstein wrote: "The game is one of the remarkable phenomena of life, an activity as if useless and at the same time necessary. Involuntarily enchanting and attracting to itself as a life phenomenon, the game proved to be a very serious and difficult problem for scientific thought " .
And modern specialists (psychologists and game players) stand on the fact that "the main distinguishing features of various gaming techniques are, firstly, the conditionality of the situation, and secondly, the unconsciousness of the participants in these goals of activity, that is intrigue. Two of these key factors entail the most important consequence for learning: bright emotional coloring of activities contributes to the activity of the participant in the group and strengthens his motivation for learning. At the same time, the game without further analytical analysis can leave the participant in the framework of vivid emotions without a useful practical result: the lack of reflection of skills makes it difficult to improve them and hinders the development of professional skills .
The goal of the game can be training participants, testing their business skills, as well as finding solutions in various conditions, where reality is replaced by its model (a kind of substitute for real life). And the farther from the reality is the model, the less dangerous the game will be perceived and the more productive will be the reactions of participants to the conditional situation (the fact is that in a situation as close to reality as possible, the participant of the game will strive to show socially desirable behavior).
In a fictitious situation, there is no need to follow superficial stereotypes of behavior, and then those basic beliefs that guide the person's real activity are revealed, and after them the effectiveness barriers also become visible. In conditions of detachment from reality, players, experiencing fewer passions, become more capable of generating non-standard solutions.
Game conditions allow players to behave in the most natural way, i.e. to demonstrate exactly those patterns of unconscious behavior that they exploit in real life. And this is possible only in a situation of uncertainty and remoteness from reality.
Game behavior helps to enter the state of the experiment, which means making mistakes, seeing and recognizing them, and looking for new approaches without fear of being ineffective.
The merging of the learning process and the context of real actions allows you to acquire the experience of professional activity in the conditions of the educational process at the university.
According to Yu. Lotman, the game implies a simultaneous realization (and not a consistent change in time) of practical and conditional behavior. The player must simultaneously remember that he participates in a conditional (not genuine) situation ... and do not remember this ... is working a special mental attitude of the player who at the same time believes and does not believe in the reality of the conflict being played out.
The main distinguishing feature of the game can be its two-dimensionality, which is reflected in the mental map of the game (Figure 5.14).
On the one hand, duality is determined by the fact that the world in which the game takes place is both real and unreal, and on the other hand, there are restrictions in the game in the form of rules, and freedom in choosing behavior within the framework of such activities.
Freedom is due to the uncertainty, unpredictability of the game and the lack of ready algorithms, which allows to take the initiative and interpret the roles of players.
Freedom is accompanied by voluntariness of participation in the game and ensures the disclosure of the potential of players (physical and spiritual), and also manifests itself in the freedom to choose activities in the game.
The rules that accompany the plot of the game are mandatory for all players and can be either direct (established game logic) or indirect (supporting the interaction of players).
The reality of the game world is manifested in the real actions of players and their connections with the external environment in real time. And the fictional world of the game is characterized by the convention of the game itself and the roles that players take on themselves. In this regard, it should be said about the isolation of the game in time and space.
Fig. 5.14. Mental model of the game The second important characteristic of the game can be creativity as a kind of human activity that manifests itself in the creativity and creative character of human interaction with the external environment, as well as in the symbolism of such activity.
Symbolism allows minimizing the risks of decisions, which liberates the mind in terms of responsibility and removal of restrictions in activities, allows you to experiment and explore all sorts of alternatives.
The creative nature of the game allows you to go beyond the limits set in real life, improvise and modify the mental models of players, including changing the rules of the game where necessary in the search for creative solutions, relying on the experience of opposing feelings (as a combination of meaning and ambivalence - different directions of personal characteristics).
The third characteristic of the game is sensitivity, which is colored by emotion and pleasure from such activity.
Emotionality is associated with some mystery of events in the game, anticipation of the joy of victories and the experience of the bitterness of defeats, as well as with the emotional glow of group interaction and tension in the competition of personalities.
Pleasure is gained by the players both from the process of self-realization in the game, and from the result obtained, and from rest (from a change in activity).
Games specially created or adapted for training purposes are called didactic. The characteristics of the didactic game are shown in Fig. 5.15.
The didactic role-playing game has a rigid structural organization and is defined as a structured learning situation in which a person temporarily assumes a certain social role and demonstrates behavioral patterns that he believes correspond to this role.
Fig. 5.15. Characteristics of the didactic game
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