the best of qualities is dispassion

Games and Learning Reflection No. 2

My participation in course activities this month greatly contributed to my understanding of games and learning. My focus is on videogames, although I understand and appreciate that this course includes many types of games and play. Previously, I had understood games as either games for entertainment or “serious” games for learning. I have now come to understand that both can be wrapped into one entertaining package, not specifically designed as a “serious” game. I especially appreciate and have learned, that adventure videogames such as Bone can provide an immersive environment for L2 learning. I intend to move on to Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) for my next critique which should round out my general understanding of videogames and learning.

I came to this course with a very negative view concerning videogame play. This was true even though one of my sons, is a molecular biologist and really enjoys his videogames. And yet he works to live a balanced life including outdoor leisure activities and reads voraciously. I have witnessed many children with distasteful behavior when their gameplay was limited, although this “may” be attributed to poor parenting, as much as the child’s desire to play videogames. I still harbor doubts concerning transfer, due to the articles we have read and my personal experience with typing tutors.  The touch typing did not transfer, as I always reverted to my unconventional typing style when work resumed.

As far as playfulness and productivity, I argue that one does not have to be overly serious, or as some of us express this seriousness, angry to accomplish their work. I actually believe that being overly serious hinders one’s ability to produce that which is truly creative. For me, playfulness is a must, or else I revert to being anxious and a bit angry when I work. Hence, I appreciate the playfulness that I have experienced in this courses, as it precludes my reverting to my old anxious way of being. The play which surrounds the gameplay in the course transfers to the course in general and can often be found in the discussions which take place in the margins. My Graphite affinity space leans towards the serious, but is not overly serious and some of the community members are a bit playful, and all are quite pleasant and helpful. The blogging in the open is a bit outside my comfort zone and yet I admit that it is a necessary skill that I value and must further develop.

This course has piqued my curiosity concerning videogames as a learning device. I came to the class quite ignorant concerning videogames, although very curious, and now believe that there is real value in videogames as a learning device. I will continue to investigate long after I complete this course and intend to include videogames in my curriculum.

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