This example of everyday learning through media illustrates many of the characteristics of informal learning environments. Participation in the game is entirely voluntary, and the amount of time players devote to it is based on individual choice and interest. The game itself is carefully designed so that, in order to master it, players need to learn about wolves and their habitat. Demonstration of competence is an inherent part of the game, because a player will not succeed unless he or she learns about wolves and is able to use that knowledge to inform his or her strategy and choices in the game.

The second informal science experience, called Science Café, was developed by Boston’s public television station WGBH. Unlike WolfQuest, which is targeted for children and teens, Science Café is an evening-long event designed for adults. While Science Cafés have been adapted from Europe and occur nationwide, this particular example reflects the approach developed by WGBH, and it takes place in a pub near Boston. The WGBH approach distinguishes itself by introducing the topic of discussion with a brief video from WGBH’s extensive science documentary material.

“Demonstration of competence is an inherent part of the game, because a player will not succeed unless he or she learns about wolves and is able to use that knowledge to inform his or her strategy and choices in the game.”



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