Monday, May 16, 2005

Not just a video game

There is a big push for the "Infusion" of integrating thinking skills into the regular curriculum. Why is it that most teachers fail to see the value video games bring to students? I see it as creative thinking in which one is building on fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration. Creative thinking skills are very much related to critical thinking skills, which these students should acquire.

Below is an excerpt from an article posted to my DE listserve. The link is also included.

Indeed, video games are not games in the sense of those pastimes-like Monopoly or gin rummy or chess-which most of us grew up with. They don't have a set of unambiguous rules that have to be learned and then followed during the course of play. This is why many of us find modern video games baffling: we're not used to being in a situation where we have to figure out what to do. We think we only have to learn how to press the buttons faster. But these games withhold critical information from the player. Players have to explore and sort through hypotheses in order to make sense of the game's environment, which is why a modern video game can take forty hours to complete. Far from being engines of instant gratification, as they are often described, video games are actually, Johnson writes, "all about delayed gratification-sometimes so long delayed that you wonder if the gratification is ever going to show."

http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/articles/050516crbo_books

2 Comments:

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Stephanie Hooper said...

I think most teachers are unaware of the educational video games on the market. When they think of video games, they think of Super Mario. Teachers are always looking for ways to encourage critical thinking skills in their students. I believe they would be excited about using educational video games if they understood what they actually involve.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Pamela said...

I see your point. However, what if they aren't classified as "educational" video games? Why is it that Super Mario isn't valued as a learning tool? Why is it that educational value isn't placed on some of these main stream video games on the market? It does involve critical thinking in order to play or master the game. It just isn't a traditional approach to learning. Thanks for the input!

 

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