So much news in the gaming world!

I guess as a mainly non-gamer (besides the class assignments of course), most of the highlights I have for this blog come in the form of news and articles (I’m more of a current events buff).  Lucky for me, the recent online news has been booming with relevant articles about conversations that we’ve had in class about the benefits of video games and learning.

http://blogs.wsj.com/wsjam/2012/03/09/why-parents-should-embrace-videogames/
This first article gives a great personal perspective of a writer from the Wall Street Journal who is a parent of a 10 year old.  He was writing in response to this original article in the WSJ, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203458604577263273943183932.html?KEYWORDS=lee+hotz, “When Gaming is Good for You”, which is a likewise interesting read that focuses more on a research backed argument about gaming.  Gordon Deal’s article breaks down why he can agree with the research, and even though he may not know it, he evidences many of Gee’s principles – i.e  when he sites first-hand experience with his son:

“I find there are also lessons from videogames about competitiveness (“I’ve gotta beat Michael’s score!”), sense of accomplishment (“Woohoo! Level 15!”), determination (“I’m sick of losing to the same guy!”), measuring progress (“Yesterday I got 250 points. Today, 800.”), setting goals, time management and putting success and failure in perspective.”

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/06/hours-playing-video-games-can-change-brain-for-better-research-finds/
And, while many may discredit Fox News normally, I think that this article is particularly different than most of the intellectual benefits discussed in other news.  The article focuses on research that shows that video game play has physical benefits as well that include “improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability”.  In class, we talked about how video games can be used in training for specific occupations, especially as a means of mental preparation for different scenarios.  As many other stimulating activities that require concentration and focus, video games create “rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine strengthen neural circuits in much the same way that exercise builds muscles”.   It is interesting to think of how physical adeptness might be measured/changing in the future with these studies and how video games will be a part of that.

http://mindshift.kqed.org/2012/03/game-based-learning-without-video-games/
Finally, I thought this insight was different, and also relateable because of its coverage of a  game-based learning experience at another university.  It sounds as though Roger Travis at the University of Connecticutt has similar objectives to our own professor, with way of executing them.  Some of the reactions definitely resonated with me, especially as a non-gamer.  I could definitely agree that “some students admit parts of the course seem silly, [though] they say it enhances their learning”.  Overall, it is cool to see other schools working towards a researching an alternate curriculum that incorporates game-play experience into learning and grading.

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