Cultural influence

Game playing in Tea party (taken by Xiying Wang)

Anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991) use the term “practice” to discuss how actions are situated in their socio-cultural contexts. Essentially, a practice is an activity that involves skills, resources, and tools, and is mediated by personal and cultural purposes. [3] One way to produce more meaningful educational games would be to design games in which players are engaged in richer, more meaningful practices. [3] A social game that different people interact with each other can help to inform a better understanding of cultural practice and social practice. [3] People can learn other cultures from playing game together. Besides, a social-practice game can help to cultivate problem-solving skills. In other words, people benefit from social game – being influenced by cultural practice and fostered a better team-oriented problem solving skills.

Puzzle game

Puzzle game (taken by Xiying Wang)

Puzzle game is considered as a way of problem-solving game, and the activity of playing puzzle game is regarded as problem-solving practice that involves strategies. Solving puzzles helps players to foster logical thinking and to facilitate problem-solving strategies. [1] Puzzle game is motivational for children, teens and adults. As a form of entertainment, a lot of practice turns puzzle game into an educational way. For example, the “dissected maps” in 1760s, the mathematical puzzle game to inform a better thinking process [1], etc. At the same time, puzzle game is fun and entertaining regardless of different ages. Puzzle game is also a game which can cause international students to engage in. [2]

People playing puzzle game (taken by Xiying Wang)

Treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is one of many different types of games which can have one or more players who try to find hidden articles, locations or places by using a series of clues. This is a fictional activity; it can also be a real life activity. Treasure hunt games may be an indoor or outdoor activity. Outdoors they can be played in a garden or the treasure could be located anywhere around the world. [4]

The treasure hunting game is not only designed for children, teenagers, but also designed for adults. In recent year, adult treasure hunting game becomes more and more popular. More important, it’s considered as a social practice. The use of a treasure hunt as a party game is attributed to socialite Elsa Maxwell. She said that: “In the Treasure Hunt . . . intellectual men were paired off with great beauties, glamor with talent. In the course of the night’s escapades anything could happen.” [5]

There are several kinds of treasure hunting games, such as Puzzlehunt, Geocaching, Photo Treasure Hunt.

[1] Owen W.S. Huang, Hercy N.H. Cheng, Tak-Wai Chan. Number Jigsaw Puzzle: A Mathematical Puzzle Game for Facilitating Players’Problem-Solving Strategies. The First IEEE International Workshop on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning (DIGITEL’07)

[2] Games to play with the international students

[3] Kurt Squire. Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games. The international journey of computer game research, volume 2, issue 1 (July 2002)

[4] Wikipedia: Treasure hunting game. Wikipedia (Date of access: 10:31am, Sept 25th 2010)

[5] The Press: Elsa at War. retrieved April 10, 2007, Times magazine. (Date of access: 10:39am, Sept 25th 2010)