Gaming. How we can use On-Line Games to Change the World?
Online gaming. That world unfamiliar to many adults yet the norm for many of our kids.
Those not familiar with games such as World of Warcraft, which is an online role-playing game, will most likely not understand the huge potential which gaming can have to help kids learn. If you are over 30, ‘Video’ games as most adults call them, evoke the thought of a little hedgehog running around a screen trying to avoid things being thrown at it. Or if you are over 35, you might be thinking of a little circle with a mouth eating smaller circles whilst being chased by ghosts (PACMan).
Gaming has moved into a virtual, collaborative world over the last 10 years. Yes, there are still little characters jumping from level to level, so called platform games, but there is also a virtual on-line gaming world out there, where people (not just kids) are collaborating together to solve problems and achieve a goal together using collective thought.
As a parent, would you worry if your child sat for three hours every evening playing a game?
As a parent, would you worry if your child sat for three hours every evening reading a book?
Both of these activities can immerse the student in a fantasy world, a world of imagination and endless possibilities. The game has an added advantage. It can help them to interact, engage, think critically, apply skills, solve problems, work as a team and the list goes on. I think we should think carefully about which games in particular would help students to do all of these things.
In this TED talk, which I highly recommend you see, Jane McGonigal talks about the possibility of harnessing gamer power to do good for the world. (Thanks Margaret for sending me the link)
She mentions three games which can be used world changing games which we can harness in our classrooms.
TED TALK LINK
Try out the following games yourselves:
3rd World Farmer http://www.3rdworldfarmer.com/
World Without Oil http://www.worldwithoutoil.org/