CSMonitor, the media, and videogames

Hey guys, if you aren’t a regular reader of Christian Science Monitor, you should definitely check it out. It’s a great news magazine that has very little to nothing to do with Science or Christianity, but instead provides (what I believe) to be very objective news. Well, yesterday, they posted up a very long article about the reasons and motivations behind why videogames are so ubiquitous to our culture.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/0318/Video-game-nation-Why-so-many-play

One of the big points that this article talks about is the fact that 25% of American gamers are over the age of 50, and the motivational tools used to push usage of these fun endeavors. Among the explanations they use, the idea of “fiction is life with the dull bits left out”. The author of the article talks about the fantastic aspect of videogames as a large motivating factor. In addition to this, he mentions completion (much like the same way one completes a book) as a source of pride and motivation.

Furthermore, the article addresses some common views about violence and video games, as well as the issues of pirating that often surround these video games. In the end, there were two universal principles that motivated the main player: having a good time.

Throughout the course of our class, we have focused heavily on the detailed explanations behind why gaming is so important for both learning and the classroom. However, this article focuses on a very important aspect of what makes videogames so ubiquitous: the sheer fact that they are very fun and satisfying to play.

I think the lesson to take form this is that “if something is fun, people will do it”. And I also believe this is the lesson that education wants to go toward, that is “being fun”. Though obviously a tough challenge, making learning fun seems like a reasonable goal for educators.

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