Kevin Kee, Tamara Vaughn, Shawn Graham, “’Sometimes, graphics get in the way’ – an Exploration of Interactive Fiction in the Classroom”, Young Kyun Baek, ed., Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning, Hershey, Penn: IGI Global, 2010.

As gaming technology for personal computers has advanced over the last two decades, the text-adventures that predominated in the 1980s ceased to be commercially viable. However, the easy availability of powerful authoring systems developed by enthusiasts and distributed free over the Internet has led to a renaissance in text-adventures, now called “Interactive Fiction”. The educational potential in playing these text-based games and simulations was recognised when they were first popular; the new authoring systems now allow educators to explore the educational potential of creating these works. We present here a case-study using the ADRIFT authoring system to create a work of interactive fiction in a split grade 4/5 class (9 and 10 year-olds) in Quebec. We find that the process of creating the game helped improve literary and social skills amongst the students.

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