chapter  4
44 Pages

Academic Games

Games date back centuries; some scholars suggest that they date back to the Stone Age (Perla, 1990). Many of these early games were just what the name suggests: games. Yet, some also were “serious games” or games designed for purposes other than sheer entertainment. For example, many early games were designed with educational or training ends in mind. In particular, many of the earliest educational games were developed for military and warfare purposes, such as to teach strategy and tactics. This historical background is evidenced in the legacy of war games in the gaming market today (Perla, 1990). The research literature formally defines games as an “artificially constructed, competitive activity with a specific goal, a set of rules and constraints that is located in a specific context” (Hays, 2005, p. 15).