Two days ago, Mashable published a fascinating post on gaming and social good, taking note of the rise of video games on multiple platforms that address a whole host of global challenges. While writer Melissa Jun Rowley touched on a range of issues and challenges, the idea of games as educational tools ran throughout the post. Organizations such as Games for Change, Institute of Play, and the Games for Learning Institute all touted the educational potential for video games, noting their ability to place players/learners to engage with complex, realistic systems, and to provide players with the opportunities to experiment with solutions to real world challenges.
Apparently, “floating environmentalism” isn’t limited to Huck Finn wannabees: on September 14, the Learning Barge, a joint project of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and the Elizabeth River Project, will be christened and opened to the public. Designed as an environmental education center for teaching elementary and middle school students about water and…
Richard Louv’s 2005 book Last Child in the Woods introduced the phrase “nature deficit disorder” into our lexicon. Louv argued that kids spend much less time outdoors, and, as a result, not only fail to develop an appreciation for and connection to nature (and, by extension, the importance of environmental challenges), but also suffer from health problems such as obesity, attention deficit disorder, and even depression to a greater degree.