OLTD 508 Week #1

I was not allowed to have a video game system in my home until I was 13.  I remember many times going over to friend’s houses to play Nintendo, and gorging myself on junk food and 8 bit masterpieces on all night gaming sessions.  My relationship to video games during this time was one of short term binges, followed by long draughts of inactivity.  In my teen years I had a gameboy that I wore out after many years of playing.  I currently own a Wii, that I used quite a bit when I initially bought it, but which has now become little more than a Netflix machine.  While I loved these console games, I’m not sure if I can nail down exactly what they taught me.  The best of these games are great not for the content they may teach you, but how they ease you into the in-game dynamics.  Super Metroid is a great example of this, as it teaches you to use the game without the use of tutorials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcrdJD8whfE

Aside from console games, there were a number of computer games such as Oregon Trail, SimCity, and Civilization that had more obvious educational applications.  I remember spending a lot of time playing Simcity, and using the “Shift fund” cheat code, hoping that it wouldn’t trigger any earthquakes!

I am interested to see if my view of videogames changes over the duration of this course.  I have always loved video games, but as a teacher, find it hard to see where I can use them effectively with my students.  I have only ever seen them as a carrot to help student complete other work.  I would be curious to see how one assesses what is learned, and how this is used to build on student learning.

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