Dr. Constance Steinkuehler was working on her master’s of science degree in educational psychology with a focus on cognitive science when the Internet began to take off. With the Internet entering homes and becoming a mainstay, she started looking at how people learn together and solve problems online. These were the days of chat rooms, and she found it hard to build inspiring problems to work on or sites to work with while in the lab. When she decided to turn her attention to the real world, a professor suggested video games, something Steinkuehler hadn’t played since she was “a high schooler hanging out at the arcade,” but she took a look and was amazed at the level of sophistication she found. She turned her work toward studying what gamers were doing cognitively and intellectually and what, if anything, children, especially teenagers, were getting out of their play.
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