, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 851-856

Citizen science in digital worlds: the seduction of a temporary escape or a lifelong pursuit?

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Abstract

There is a vast terrain of emerging research that explores recent innovations in digital games, particularly as they relate to questions of teaching and learning science. One such game, Citizen Science, was developed to teach players about the practice of citizen science as well as lake ecology. Citizen science is a pedagogy that has a long history within the scientific community, engaging the public in ongoing community and environmental surveys to collect data for existing small-scale studies. More recently, citizen science has gained traction as an educational context for teaching and learning science in ways that connect to students’ lives and interests. By placing citizen science within the realm of digital worlds, Matthew Gaydos and Kurt Squire invite new possibilities for knowledge to become more kinetic, moving in multiple directions. In this article we discuss some of the tensions we experienced as we explored the digital game, Citizen Science. We highlight questions about narrative and complexity, emergent game play and transfer to encourage thinking about the development and implementation of games such as Citizen Science.

Lead Editor: C. Milne.
Forum response to Gaydos and Squire (2012). CITIZEN SCIENCE: Role Playing Games for Scientific Citizenship. doi:10.1007/s11422-012-9414-2.