Advances in computing and telecommunications make it possible to take advantage of immersive electronic environments to deliver content. In this chapter we present a policy game to be used in a virtual world. The benefits of this tool are examined using Gee’s learning principles. From this analysis we find that games in virtual worlds enable reflective exploration that helps participants learn from their mistakes. Learning takes place from the content conveyed through the game and through the multimedia immersion that allows students to learn the nuances of these virtual contexts. Because there are no realworld consequences, participants can take risks, provide or receive help from other students, and most importantly, apply this knowledge to a real-world situation. Recommendations are provided to educators to help them exploit the great potential of games while being prepared for the obstacles they will face.
Work, leisure, and education have all been affected by advances in information and communication technologies. Technologies for entertainment purposes can be so captivating now that traditional classroom and electronic education programs sometimes pale in comparison. The video and computer game industry, in particular, has evolved radically over the past decade to offer interactive capabilities that were only imagined 20 years ago. The cutting-edge animation, opportunities for interaction, and dynamically generated narratives that can be found in today’s games have attracted large, diverse audiences, and many American teenagers and young adults play these computer games on a routine basis (Jayakanthan, 2002).