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Examining Epistemic Practices of the Community of Players of Dwarf Fortress: “For !!SCIENCE!!â€

Mario M. Martinez-Garza
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Mario M. Martinez-Garza: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2015, vol. 7, issue 2, 46-67

Abstract: Dwarf Fortress is a digital game with an unusually detailed and complex underlying simulation based on real world systems. Gameplay is unforgiving and condensed knowledge resources that support effective play are scarce. To learn more about the inner workings of the game and make its challenges more tractable, the community of Dwarf Fortress players engages in systematic, evidence-based, experimental inquiry of the game. The community calls this pursuit “dwarf science†. In this paper, the author investigates the origins, evolution, and practice of “dwarf science†, and frames it as a model of how digital games for science learning might support the epistemic frame of science among learners.

Date: 2015
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