Is digital game based learning the educational utopia of the future? Constructing youth's professional identities with epistemic games.
Although digital games dominate youngster’s lives, there are many who demonize this habit as being distracting, destructive and addictive. However, in the past years, this taboo is starting to fade.
The academic research on the positive effects of digital gaming is growing and has established digital games as a very effective educational tool. The implementation of digital games in education may sounded far-fetched a few years ago, however many academics and researchers are developing games for strictly educational purposes. David Williamson Shaffer, a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is one of the pioneers in creating educational digital games. More specifically, Shaffer and his research team are working on a set of professional simulations, the epistemic games. This paper will investigate the positive effects of epistemic games in helping youth construct their professional identities and develop the necessary confidence and skills before entering the 'adult world'.