These last few weeks has been awesome, not just for the simple fact that the class has had a lot of free reign but because of learning about how games and gaming can actually help in the learning environment. This is not just for the student but also the educator. Here are some of the things I caught on to over the past few weeks.
James Gee’s Why are Video Games Good for Learning: The main thing here for me is that we essentially become who we are portraying or talking about. He gave an example of a scientist talking to a group of people. He was using words like “I” and “you”, putting them in the place of the cells. When people are put into such a position they are able to understand systems better. This is much like how in class we are not student but colleagues, and are therefore able to in some ways dig deeper into what we are studying.
Henry Jenkins’ Can A Game Help Low-Income Youth Get into College?: This is interesting because a group of people came up with a game that helps low income youth become comfortable with the terms and deadlines that associate with the college application process. The idea came from the fact that there are more students than college advisors and often the ones that do not have access to these people are those from lower income households. This game gets the player familiar with terms like the FAFSA and the deadlines that go with it. It will ultimately make the college application process less scary and gives the student the confidence and knowledge to do it without college councilors.
Reality: Transforming USC Film Students’ Freshman Year Into an Addictive Game: This, honestly, looks like a ton of fun. A game was created for the freshmen to not only get them out and meeting people and learn skills associated with their degrees. This game is completely underground. An example from the website cited a girl who got a cryptic e-mail a few days before school started, mentioning that if they could decode the message it would tell her where to go for further instructions. A really interesting way to not only get the students talking to other freshmen but to get them associated with the campus and work together.
Elizabeth Lawley’s Gaming to the Throne: This was about using gaming for tourism. She and her family were living in and around Italy and her son took a picture and posted it with the caption, “I’m living in Assassins Creed”. From there she designed a tour through Italy called the Assassins Creed Tour of Italy. This could very well be good for tourism and for gamers. A chance to visit and immerse yourself into a safe version of the surroundings seen in video games.