The use of an entertainment medium as an instructional learning system is increasingly under consideration and construction. From Second Life to Spore, virtual worlds and online video games are prime examples of learning systems whose primary purpose is entertainment. Although these two systems will need to overcome many problems in terms of both content and functionality, they seem to offer us a shiny glimpse of a promising future in which learning can be made enjoyable and interactive.
However, it’s not the best of times for many kinds of video games. Coupled with financially uncertain times, many people believe that pirating has contributed to low sales for games like Spore, which was released in September.
Is it possible that pirating and low sales will slow the development of online games as training, collaboration and pedagogical tools? Developers of interactive learning systems might learn a few lessons from the mistakes of game developers.
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