HUNTING DOWN THE MONSTER: USING MULTI-PLAY DIGITAL GAMES AND ONLINE VIRTUAL WORLDS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHING
This chapter utilizes the material drawn from a much wider piece of research about young people's use of digital spaces to explore some of the education possibilities provided by computer/console-based game arenas and digital game worlds. Multi-play gaming is a highly interactive experience incorporating complex layers of cooperative and competitive play and problem solving. Compared with many aspects of the school environment, digital play represents a 'safe' arena in which to engage in or 'test out' 'worldly' practices, reflecting the wider information and communications technology theme of independent learning. When playing online games pupils make constant decisions in order to reach new levels and these often involve careful strategic planning. Young people have always been early adopters of this type of technology and digital games are undeniably popular. Digital games might be regarded as effective learning systems since one of their central functions is to teach users to competently engage with its game play.