Serious games

by Paul Maharg on 05/07/2006

‘…if you look at [games] you will not see something that is common to all, but similiarities, relationships, and a whole series of them at that […] we see a complicated network of similarities, sometimes similiarities of detail’

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, sect. 66, CL, 280.

This is true of modules in a curriculum, and is especially true of areas of law in a curriculum, which often act as if they are boxes, when in fact they are all games of one sort or another. Why are they boxes, why are they games? They’re boxes because the curriculum is organised that way, and because knowledge is organised and distributed according to criteria that match box learning. Contrast that with flow learning, where knowledge appears in swirls, eddies, currents, all within a general stream. Or, to be less organic about it, knowledge becomes a game.

John Blackie and I wrote a paper on a prototype in which we compared learning delict (tort) to a card game. I think that the game analogy is much more profound that the box description.

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