AI vs. AL (Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Life)

January 17, 2014
What the difference in programming and gameplay between Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life?

How would a classroom of 30 kids work independently and in teams to train an object in the game. Can objects learn?

What happens when your classroom's object plays against my classroom's object?

Can students create environments and obstacles to test objects?

Can students work asynchronously to train an object?

Are objects smarter than students?

These are just a few of the questions we'll be answering in an upcoming post on Artificial Life and how we are implementing it in Bionomicon.

Badging in a Simulation

January 14, 2014

This is a complex game comprised of many systems. Expecting the player to master all of them to “win” is unfair to the player. So what we’ve done is take the learning objectives and made those variable objectives in the game.

These objectives occur naturally as the player discovers the roles and functions of the game. So as the player plays, we reward them for using the functions and completing sub objectives while playing, achieving these sub-objectives results in badges being displ...

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“They have to play our game”

January 3, 2014

“Students have a choice. They can either use the text book or play our game. They have to do one or the other. Our game is so much better than the text book that kids will play our game.”

This is the logic of many top executives in the educational games industry. Only problem is, if you’ve ever taught in a classroom, you know this is absolutely not true. It’s a false dichotomy. Kids have the choice to be distracted, to quit, and not do any of the above.

A more subtle reaction to po...

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Classroom Misfit: Problems with Discovery Based Learning

December 31, 2013

When a game encourages exploration and discovery two major classroom problems arise. 1) “Discovery” takes time and can be viewed as inefficient or “time off task”. 2) Depending on the environment, some interactions while exploring can be viewed as “wrong” requiring unlearning with respect to the “real” curriculum.

For example: Students were put in control of cells inside a simulation/game of the AIDS virus. Because it’s designed as a cool looking game, kids feel the freedom...

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