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Video Games - What's the problem with games.

video games

Brendon Thomas

on 21 June 2017

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Transcript of Video Games - What's the problem with games.

21st century learning - Is leisure and play opposite to work and learning?
What's the problem with games?
Computer games in
leisure, learning & earning.

Nov, 2011 - Center for Internet Addiction Recovery
Australia considering video game addiction as official mental disorder - New brain study on addiction to violent video games.
We’ve all seen the news reports, but how do video games really affect the brain?
The short answer is this:
researchers are working on it.
Jenkins, 2012
cognition and behaviour
cognition and behaviour
positives of playing video games
Hyun Han & Renshaw (2011)
The brain is a malleable, “plastic” structure that can change and evolve with every stimulus we give it.

Enhancements in low-level vision & visual attention
Speed of processing and statistical inference
Perception and spatial cognition
Rehabilitions eg 'lazy eye'
Simulation training - surgeons, army, pilots, emergency services
Improved visuo-spatial capacity
Visual acuity
Task switching
Decision making and object tracking
Generally, they believe gaming enhances performance on higher level reasoning and problem solving tasks
Improvements in cognitive function
cognition and behaviour
positives of playing video games
Bavelier & Green (2011)
cognition and behaviour
positives of playing video games
Gentile (2011)
Causal short-term effect, namely that playing
pro-social games led to more ‘helping’ behaviour
, whereas playing a violent game led to more ‘harming’ behaviour.
In a longitudinal study, they found that children who played more pro-social games early in a school year demonstrated increased
helpful behaviours
later in the school year.
There is an extremely large body of research demonstrating a relationship between playing certain types of violent video games and increases in measures of aggressive thoughts.

Violent video games alone are unlikely to turn a child with no other risk factors into a maniacal killer
Neurons that fire together wire together (Hebb, 1940). Whatever we practice repeatedly affects the brain, and if we practice aggressive ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, then we will get better at those.
(Cited in Bavelier, Green, Hyun Han, Renshaw, Merzenich & Gentile, 2011)
About 1 in 5 regular gamers
(4‑10% of school-age children and young
adults) seem to meet the medical criteria
that would define them as ‘addicted’.

Merzenich, 2011
Time spent on screen-delivered media can be expected to steal more time away from real life.

clear objectives
scaffolding & multiple difficulty levels
individual prior knowledge and self pacing
active learning
immediate feedback and
sufficient practice to the point of mastery
Studies of educational software demonstrate that children do learn from playing educational games.
Playing games is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles (Suits, 2004).
Games provide challenge and reward, whether it's a 5 second mini-game, 10 minute casual game, eight hour action game through to never ending twenty-four hour games (McGonigal, 2011).
Games today come in more platforms and genres than any other time in human history (McGonigal, 2011).
Pleasure in the challenge of the game. Mood-boosting and positive emotions.
Jenkins, 2012
Games offer significant promise for education.
They use many of the techniques that exceptional teacher utilise:
negative of playing video games
positives of playing video games
Games make us happy
because they are hard work that we choose for ourselves' (McGonigal, 2011).

Is leisure and play opposite to work and learning?
McGonigal argues we want to be given 'more satisfying and productive work' - games give us clearer missions and more satisfying, hands-on work.

Brown (2008) and Sutton-Smith (2001) mention the opposite of play is depression.
(Bavelier, Green, Hyun Han, Renshaw, Merzenich & Gentile, 2011)
(Merzenich, 2011)
James Gee (2011) on how gaming environments can enrich problem-solving and drive innovation.
How far off are we before games become part of assessment?
Could games change assessment completely?
(Gentile, 2011)
WoW grown from 250,000 in January 2004 to more than 11.5 million in January 2010, making it the single largest paying game community in the world.

In 2010, WoW developer Activision Blizzard earnings $5 million every single day on global subscription.
Activision Blizzard, 2010 cited in McGonigal, 2011 p 52.
First some history of games
Atari launched Pong, 1972 considered the first arcade video game, replacing electro-mechanical games (Williams, 2011)
In 1980 Atari 2600, home video game system
The golden age of arcade
video games was from
the late 1970s through
the 1980s
Coin-operated arcade games
Nintendo home entertainment
1980s brought us new characters
Donkey Kong & Mario
Super Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64
Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Servers capable of
supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously
Most of the newer game consoles, portable devices and smart phones are capable of running MMOG games.
WoW grown from 250,000 in January 2004 to more than 11.5 million in January 2010, making it the single largest paying game community in the world.
Activision Blizzard, 2010 cited in McGonigal, 2011 p 52.
Open-source and online games
Nine year old developed roller coaster
Example student developed games
Fruit Ninja surpasses 300 million downloads!
US$0.99c app
Game-based learning continues to gain pace as a methodology for
engaging young learners
in today’s connected age. Integrating games programming into teaching and learning is consistent with current educational theorists and research emphasising the
potential of digital games
as a teaching and learning tool in today’s educational systems (Gee, 2003; Halverson, 2005; Horizon Report, 2011; Shaffer, 2006).
The very nature of games programming as a practical discipline has a unique emphasis on the
logical application of trial and error
, where learning evolves naturally through the cycle of
testing and inquiry
. Students master
fundamental programming skills
in the development phase of their game, and pre-test game levels, modes and beta-testing with their fellow gamers prior to final testing within the early learning centre.

Vast array of mobile gaming devices.....
making, testing and playing games
more on making games..
Year 12 students teaching young learners numeracy and literacy through their educational games
Example minecraft - 3D spatial & digital literacy - young learner
sound editing, graphics and illustration, animation & interactivity, coding, game play |
digital literacy and foundational computer science
Gamification in learning
Massive Online Multi-player Games (MMOG)

"My goal for the next decade is to try to make it as
save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games.

2010 - 500 Million global gamers,
experts at 'something'
Next decade add another billion
- through affordable low energy technologies to process powerful games across the entire world.

Blissful productivity - average 22hr a week WOW gamers
3 Billion hours per week playing online games

Jane McGonigal, 2010
(Ted Talks, 2010 Jane McGonigal http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html )
Present shifts...
Games provide a context for learning a broad range of technology systems
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