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Ethical education is also about teaching problem-solving skills. Whether solving problems with ourselves, relationships with others, organizations, or our larger communities, ethics is about developing reasoned actions based on our core values. Unfortunately, we often push for solutions that rely on motivated human action without building in plans to motivate people through engaging experiences.
Game designers plan for human motivation. Other people’s experiences are always at the forefront of the minds of good game designers. By designing for engaging experiences, we can nudge ourselves and others to make decisions more in line with our shared values. Can principles from game design like game mechanisms, level design, and user interfaces help us have more willpower, be kinder to others, and even save American democracy? Paulo Ribeiro argued that they can and should.
Paulo Ribeiro is a member of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County. He holds a BA in Sociology from Montclair State University and is a graduate from the Humanist Institute. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Educational Game Design from Teachers College where he is working on developing gamified Web apps for children’s ethics education.
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