Authors: M Kirby-Hirst

Keyword: quality education, South Africa


Agenda 2063: A6

This article examines the potential for a videogame-based pedagogy in a South African open and distance learning (ODL) environment, wherein videogame interactivity might address the absence of individualised tuition. The discipline of Classics is utilised as a working example, with its primary educational elements, namely the study of history and culture, illustrating the broader appeal of a videogame-based pedagogy that can be deployed to courses ranging from anthropology to cultural and media studies, to history and even art. In largely literature review format, this article first assesses the representation of these elements in commercial videogames, before concentrating on user-modified videogame scenarios (‘mods’), and the employment of easy to understand ‘toolsets’ for creating such course specific content. The creation of such content using these ‘toolsets’ and other means (eg, free-to-play games) enables lecturers to construct unique videogame learning environments (VGLEs) for teaching purposes. Modern pedagogical principles are also brought to bear upon this notion of a videogame-centred multimedia approach to student-centred learning to properly situate it within the parameters of current educational practice. Finally, the pros, cons, and particular challenges of the use of a VGLE within the South African educational environment are considered.