Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to School Week: The Learning Game Vol. 2

Image by Ilese Lotta, frustrated student from Germany
Does your writing hand ache yet from the billions of notes you've been taking? Is your back sore from walking around all day with a backpack chock-full of awful reading goodness? Are you ready for summer 2011 already?

Well don't look now, but the educational entertainment has just begun! Everyone's favorite underemployed English teacher, me, has a few assignments for you. This second double-sized dose of The Learning Game explores some of the obstacles that prevent gaming from being integrated into the current world of American education, and then we'll take a nostalgic gander at the benefits of the good ol' Nintendo Entertainment System on the totally radical youth of the '80s and '90s.

Yes, it's homework. No, it's not that hard. And yes, it'll be on the quiz. Any other questions?

I have no idea what these kids are doing, but it looks important.
If mixing education and video games were easy, I'd have done it already. You might have already guessed that, but if you take a minute to sit down and ponder all the problems associated with such a proposal, your head starts to hurt worse than the time your little cousin forgot to wear his Wii remote strap and lobbed it right into your eye socket. Here I examine just a few of the ways both education in America and gaming itself would have to evolve in order to truly fit hand in Power Golved hand.

When I was but a wee lad, most adults in my life were either indifferent to gaming or spent long amounts of time trying to convince me that Nintendo was evil and would eventually consume my family and I as some sort of fleshy midnight treat. Whenever someone said I was wasting my time, I replied that I was developing my hand-eye coordination, though I never knew why that was a good thing.

In this essay, I finally found a solid way to defend the gaming heroes of my youth. And it only took me two short decades!

Hey guys! I think I found Waldo!
One of the first posts I made when I this blog started picking up steam was about PlayStation Home, the PS3 social networking program. It's scarier than words can describe... so of course, I spend the whole article trying to do just that. Fun for the whole family over 18!

Okay, so are you all done reading this edition of The Learning Game? Then in the words of the immortal Duke Nukem (the game character, not the guy from Captain Planet): "Get back to work you slacker!"

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