Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gaming to Learn

I wonder if I'd be different today if I played more video games... Would I be smarter, quicker, or better at solving problems? If yes, is it too late to start??? When I think of video games two things come to my mind: 1) amazing graphics and 2) my little brother who would spend entire days in the basement playing games. After emerging from his gaming sessions his eyes would be bloodshot as if he had been doing something inappropriate...
I love the idea of using games in learning. I love the idea of simulating practices such as biology or history through games and using textbooks as references... because honestly as James Paul Gee accurately contends, textbooks do not make any sense unless there is a context through which to understand them. As more and more graphic designers and video game designers are entering the job market and as more and more 3D and 4D technology emerges, we may very well be able to simulate learning through games and simultaneously assess this learning.
I wonder however if there is research about varying abilities for students to adapt to this type of learning. How do different students utilize these tools? Do some students have a greater affinity to games? What about students with learning disabilities: Do games facilitate learning or create more challenges? How does the cognitive process differ when playing video games?
The only game I ever completed entirely was Zelda and the Ocarina of Time. It was an amazing game. However, my gaming career ended there unfortunately. I can see value in efforts made for collaboration between game designers and educators to commission a series of excellent, fun, high quality games to facilitate learning. Video games are here to stay. We might as well make the most of this phenomenon... and it may prove favorable and enjoyable to everyone. Perhaps I shall revisit my old hobby of gaming...???
I suggest browsing through It includes digital art from artists all over the world. The image above is by the artist Mario Wibisono and I believe this warrior character has been used in a video game... She served as inspiration for many of my illustrations.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Eleni,
    I really liked the questions you posed. I think that students would likely learn differently from games. It could be based on something as simple as whether they have played the game before. I believe gaming skills is an ability that some people are more naturally talented at than others and those people process the game differently. For example, if my brother and I both played a game for the first time he will always do better than me. Is he smarter than me? Let's hope not, I'd say we are rather equal. Does he process the games in a different way? Certainly. If games were in the classroom, we would have to account for how different students process the games and how each student learns from their own cognitive process. Until we can answer that question, I feel it is best to keep games out of the classroom.