{Year 2} [211 Session 3] Numpty Physics for the Generalist (argument)

Failure is good!

The key to success for an IT generalist who cannot immediately see the benefit of a game (Numpty Physics) is that she needs to experience the frustrations and failures of the in-game physics.

Once she has understood the pedagogic benefits of the problem solving scenarios — and how failure and frustration can be constructive incentives — then she will be hooked. And physics will seem more real.

Being "hooked" is not a negative state of mind. "Hooked" is what allows the gamer to continually reassess the problem (the game) until the problem is solved. Then the reward is the feedback, the next level, the increased difficulty and frustration (how can increased difficulty and frustration be rewarding?). And yet difficulty is what we crave in games, but not necessarily in the classroom.

Even the generalist, who does not have time for games, must acknowledge the the persistence and determination of the gamer as habits she will want to nurture in her pupils.

This is only the beginning of game-based learning. From Numpty Physics we can travel to any number of game universes which can catalyse classroom learning, whether for cross-curricular themes, groupwork, focused creativity, programming and other important "skills of the future".

Play, enjoy, learn, teach. That's the Tao of Gaming.

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