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Using Video Games for Learning

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B293 N922

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Using Video Games for Learning

Unlocking Video Games and Learning A 2 Minute Guide to Video Games With their eye-popping graphics, lovable characters and epic stories, video games have become seriously big business. Still unconvinced though? Then have a looksy below, to see what all the fuss is about... "Twitter is a way of following the lives of people, celebs, businesses, etc." Say Hello to Video Game Genres To anyone who doesn't know their Donkey Kong from their Super Mario, video games can be a bit of a mystery. Indeed, they come in all shapes and sizes, with each genre below providing different opportunities for learning. 'Video Games are Great for Learning, Discuss...' So whilst there is a galaxy of different game genres out there, what could they possibly have to teach us? The answer is, quite a lot, as the the uber-skillful professions show below... Despite being a great potential tool for any innovative teacher, there are many pitfalls to avoid, when turning class time into game time. Below are some of the key issues... Time to See this Bird Fly: Some Video Game Case Studies... As we have seen, using video games educationally does raise issues regarding content and appropriateness. However if used skillfully, they can definitely spark the imagination of learners. Take a peek below, to see some of the coolest stuff... The Medium that Keeps on Giving... As well as inspiring young minds to learn, video games can be a great way of embracing Equality and Diversity too. It really is the medium that keeps on giving, see why below... The Future of Video Games (and Education!) Whilst we don't have a crystal ball (sadly), it is useful to finally consider the rapid progression in video game technology, which provides the innovative teacher with some great opportunities to provide some unforgettable learning experiences... Task: So now we've got a glimpse into the future, what do you think could be the future applications of video games within lessons...? Fast Facts Video games are a form of recreation enjoyed by approximately 1.7 billion people world-wide Video game sales are currently worth £67 billion to the global economy Most teenagers spend 3.4 hours a day using video games The Lowdown on
Video Games 1972
Atari make first video
game called 'Pong'. A
classic 2D take on table
tennis 1985
Nintendo release 'Super
Mario Bros'-starring a New
York plumber in a magic
kingdom...strange yet
seminal 1994
Sony change the face of
video games with 'Playstation'
console, which brings better
graphics, sound quality etc... 2006
Nintendo release the 'Wii' console,
that enables players to get deeper
into the action, by using hardware to
pick up their movements on screen 2009+
Monster franchises like 'Call of Duty'
and 'Assassin's Creed' rack up millions
of sales worldwide, bringing lifelike
presentation to their games 2012+
Boffins at Google and Microsoft are currently
researching 'augmented reality', whereby the senses
will be unable to see the difference between reality
and the computer generated images like the ones above (scary!)... Task: Now time for a quick chat. Talking to those next to you, what are your personal views on video games, e.g. too violent, encouraging laziness etc... Age Ratings, Appropriateness and Other Serious Stuff... 'Shoot Em Ups' Platformers Strategy Titles Educational Themes 'Call of Duty'




'Gears of War' 1. Psychology of war and soldiers

2. Media representations of conflict
and suffering

3. Creative writing on the theme of

4. Physics of kinetic energy, friction
and matter

5. Focus upon esprit de corps and
team dynamics under stress Titles Educational Themes 'Super Mario'

'Little-Big Planet'


'Assassin's Creed

'Rayman' 1. Exploring game format and coding

2. Graphic design inspired by game

3. Creative writing on (sur)real worlds

4. Physics of gravity, force and space

5. Critical analysis of representations
of stereotypes e.g.
maculinity/femininitry Titles Educational Themes 'Total War'

'Command and



'Civilisation' 1. Historical focus upon key eras and

2. The art of budgeting, strategic
planning and management

3. Creative writing against historical

4. Sociology of warfare and historical
development of states

5. Geography of Europe, Africa, Asia
and natural topography Often the stars of the show, so called 'shoot em ups' are often multi-million affairs, with Hollywood style effects etc...Yet even this genre can be used as a platform for some truly outstanding learning Ranging from the surreal masterpieces of 'Super Mario' and 'Little-Big Planet, to the graphically beautiful 'Assassin's
Creed' series, the platformer genre is all about spatial awareness, and hand to eye coordination that a fencing grand master would envy... The strategy genre is for those gamers looking for more rhyme and reason than the shoot em ups or platformers can offer. Such games often foster a sharp intellect and deep thinking. Task: So now we have looked at 3 video game genres, which other ones do you know of, and how can they be used for education? Video Game Genre Learning Opportunities Brain Surgery US Soldiers Brain surgery is tough. It requires nerves of steel, and the best hand to eye coordination in the business to make incisions.

That's why video games have been often advised to new surgeons, as a way of honing their medical skills. This helps their hands' dexterity, coordination etc...when they are operating on people's brains

Look at the YouTube clip to catch our drift, and see the power of video games for medical careers... The US army has been using video games and virtual reality for years, to train soldiers to fight more efficiently.

Video games enable soldiers to learn war-fighting skills without the bullets flying around, as in real war!

Watch the YouTube clip, to see how the US Army is using video games to prepare their soldiers for the battleground. Airline Pilot Flight simulators are now incredibly advanced, and help pilots to learn how to fly jets around the world.

By doing this, pilots can learn how to take-off, fly through the clouds, and land safely.

Have a quick peek at the YouTube video on the left, to see the power of video game simulators in action... Task: Now we have looked at some of the professions that go well with computer games, what other skills do we have to learn from video games? Try to think of examples of games you have played before... Video Game Skills Learnt Like movies-all games now have
a legal age limit. So keep in mind
your class' age before making use of Call
of Duty and other mature games As the gun suggests, making class time, game time,
can only been done if the material is appropriate to learning. E.g. how does using the game increase our classes' learning of a subject? If unable to answer this question, ditch the games... Also, as all games are played online now it is important not to give any iNasties a forum to send inappropriate messages. This is key, with many peeps having PSN/Xbox Live accounts, which act like SMS services Games are great, but they do stretch the truth and could sometimes be interpreted as insensitive to
some people. So please vet the content first and ensure they are not perpetuating cultural
stereotypes etc... Task: So it's one thing saying what not to do when using viddy games in the classroom, but why is it important to keep an eye on how games are used in education? Have a chat with the peeps next to you to work out what you think... Case Study 2: 'Football Manager' Case Study 1: 'Assassin's Creed' Case Study 3: 'Europa' Few games are as graphically gorgeous as the Assassin's Creed series. Games such as these are like gold-dust for innovative English teachers, who can use their exotic locations to get their students passionate about writing, just like the one below. Ok, so it may look just like a spreadsheet and bunch of numbers, but Football Manager offers a brilliant experience of being a head of a club. Indeed, this game can be used by sport students, as they run their favourite team, complete with choosing tactics, buying players and press conferences... Whilst Europa may be a tough nut to get into, in being able to run famous countries like the Ottoman Empire or Ming Dynasty, controlling their army, economy and politics, it offers a gold-mine for history teachers to show the fantastic nature of their subject... Task: Now it's time to take the video game plunge...just download the Europa demo and experience what it was like being a historical ruler. You can find the demo at: http://www.gamershell.com/download_17351.shtml Task: From looking at the YouTube video above, what things could we possibly learn from playing games such as 'Football Manager'? Your Ideas... With viddy games often taking us to all
sorts of exotic places, this can help us understand
other cultures like Assassin's Creed Revelations bringing us to Islamic Constantinople Also, video games enable us to engage with key issues such as in Mass Effect, which represents homosexuality with a great degree of sensitivity Cultural stereotypes and concepts can also be highlighted and challenged when using video games, as in Super Mario which ironically draws on fairy-tales for characters like Princess Peach Finally, video games can promote cultural tolerance and increase our knowledge of how other cultures lead their lives, as in Assassin's Creed 3, which lets us see a Native American way of life (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr Task: So it is hopefully clear, video games are a great way of exploring and promoting equality and diversity in the classroom and beyond. Yet why is it important for games to engage in such issues? Your Ideas...
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