Battle of the Titans: Mario vs. MathBlaster
Abstract: One way to understand how a particular medium can be used effectively in education is to study its outstanding examples, regardless of their original purpose. The argument can be made that many of the most successful commercial games already embody sound pedagogy in their designs even if that incorporation was not deliberate. The following paper will examine two games: one a commercial and critical success and the other designed deliberately as an educational game. The analysis seeks to answer the two questions: What do players need to learn in order to win the game?, and How does the game support that learning? A comparative analysis of both games reveals that although they are very similar in genre and type, there are several design lessons that can be learned from the commercially successful game.
Presider: Andrew Robinson, University of Saskatchewan