Chess Player Augmented Reality: Video Game

A big issue with learning is making the environment where learning takes place fun.  This often poses a problem because subjects such as history, and ancient literature seem to be a bit dull, at least in my eyes.  This can be applied to most peoples idea of learning in schools.  I feel subjects like chemistry and physics tend to be more exciting solely because they have labs where you learn concepts by doing experiments in real life.  Whether this be spinning a ball around a circle to learn about centripetal force(physics) or mix certain elements to produce a chemical reaction(chemistry).  The reason why I bring all this things into this discussion is because these subjects use interactive ways to teach students certain concepts in those subjects.  The system that was set up by these Spanish engineering students set up makes a game like chess seem more exciting.  When I first played chess, I was bored within minutes because the game requires patience, strategy, and planning and I didn’t want to take the time to properly develop strategies to beat my friends who had been playing for years.  However, this augmented reality provides the user the information of what moves he can make and how those moves will affect future moves.  It provides a fun way for the user to learn strategies to conquer their opponents.  A common question may be asked like “Well, that has already been done on the computer where a user just uses a computer screen to do the same thing?” My answer to that is this new augmented reality set up provides a new and cool way of doing it.  The Nintendo Wii provided a new way for people to play video games and it became an instant hit.  However, it provided the same video game means that people wanted to play.  Who knew bowling or baseball could be so much fun.  This augmented reality kit provides a new way and cool way for users to learn to play chess while also learning how to create strategies for success.  This augmented reality should be applied to different types of subjects to will allow students to have hands on learning like physics and chemistry.

One can find the link to the article below:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110218112119.htm

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Similarities Between Chess and Video Games

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703793804575512123207658124.html?KEYWORDS=chess+programs+in+schoolKEYWORDS%3Dchess+programs+in+school

I grew up playing competitive chess in middle school and have been following some recent development in inner-city schools where chess programs are used as tools for alternative education. Mostly, children who have trouble staying focused in regular classes or get caught up in juvenile crime have been reassigned to these types of programs where chess plays an important role in their education. While the difference between chess and most video games are pretty substantial, there are also many similarities that make both chess and video games attractive for use in education. In the article listed above, school administrators cite certain skills used in playing chess that can be applied more broadly to life. The teachers claim that chess teaches students how to focus, to build and execute a plan, and other important problem solving skills. Additionally, chess is a game that is both intrinsically challenging and rewarding as one begins to win games.

The fact that chess is gaining popularity in certain schools points to the use of games for academic purposes. Benjamin Franklin discusses the benefits of the game of chess in an essay that can also be applied to today’s video games. He states, “several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, (The Morals of Chess).” The advances in video game programming, design and subject matter will continue to strengthen their attractiveness as educational tools and their relevance to everday life. In addition, the acceptance of innovative approaches to education will further the possibility of incorporating video games into education on a larger scale. This will be an important and interesting development to keep an eye on in the years ahead and I would encourage those who are interested to check out the article posted above.

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