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gaming. everyone’s doing it. July 22, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in educational games.

So in a discussion with my fiancé, Kevin, (who also happens to be an instructional technologist), the issue of recreational gaming came up. As both of us create games for elearning at our jobs, we are always emphasizing the value of games and echoing that the majority of the population is used to games and the gaming environment. The younger generations have grown up with video games and computer games and many of older generations have taken part in these gaming worlds. But basically, we are always pointing out how education is more effective when it is fun, interactive, and challenging.

Well Kevin then made a good point. For all that we advocate gaming and say that “everyone’s doing it,” we don’t play video games. We don’t even own any of the gaming consoles. So then are we hypocrites? Kevin suggested that we aren’t really gamers ourselves and that we should buy some of the popular games that people are playing and immerse ourselves in them “for learning reasons.” I do not disagree with this.

I know I could learn a great deal from this. But I argued back that “just because we don’t own or play video console games means that we are not gamers?” Because I know that every so often when I have a free 15 minutes of time, I jump on Yahoo! games and play a little Bejeweled, or JT’s Blocks. So does that make me a gamer? I believe so. Just maybe a different kind.

I think that the underlying principal of these computer and video games is the same, but the environment that these gamers are used to differs. In the computer games that I play, I am interacting, motivated to win, and challenged. The immersive games that others play also interact, motivate and challenge their players. But the more immersive gamers are accustomed to a more immersive environment. They want the advanced 3D graphics. They have and want more control and options.

So my unknown here is — do graphics and the technology of the game undermine the experience for the learner? Or is the challenge, the game enough?



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