“I Live in the Future” Where Video Gameplay Is Real-Life Learning

24 10 2011

Excerpted from “I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain are Being Creatively Disrupted”:

These residents and practicing surgeons simply played 3 or more hours of action video games a week. Some of the more advanced video game-playing students managed to make 47% fewer errors than others and were able to work as much as 39% faster. . .

For example, these studies consistently show that playing video games improves hand-eye coordination and increases one’s capacity for visual attention and spatial distribution, among other skills. These increased brain functions are tied not only to game play but to several other real- world scenarios, including surgery.

You may feel like your brain cannot cope with so much information or jump seamlessly from one medium to another, just as you may have felt in high school that you couldn’t learn a foreign language or conquer higher math.

But as the brain faces new language (or acronyms and abbreviations), new visual and auditory stimulation, or new and different ways of processing information, it can change and grow in the most remarkable fashion. In fact, it may well be a natural part of human behavior to seek out and develop unnatural new experiences and technologies and then incorporate them into our daily lives and storytelling.

High-tech gameplay as well as entertainment through the television screen have been part of our happy unschooling from the start, just like libraries and bookloving (ALL the books, not One Book to Rule Them All.) We snook about it often and you can easily search with the little box on the right-hand menu, but here are a few apt posts and conversations for example:

So Young and So Gadgeted, What’s the Right Approach?”

Video Games Bonanza Site — Save This Link!:

Is PBS a credible enough source for whoever in your child’s life clucks disapprovingly at screen time? Click here now — don’t wait, your child’s education and entire future could be at stake! 🙂

My favorite moment in the article is when the author is showing his seven-year-old nephew the SimCity neighborhood that he built. When the author notes that he’s having problem getting a certain area with factories to come back to life, the boy turns to him and says, “I think you need to lower your industrial tax rates.”

Video Games: New Ways of Being in the World

More Kid Stuff or Video Gaming for Real?:

[So] Blake seems happy with his home school arrangement, as you would expect from a teenager who is allowed to stay up into the wee hours to play video games. Sometimes, when Mike heads to the gym before 5 a.m., his son is still playing video games.

. . .when Blake’s older brother wanted to focus on football, they got him a trainer and the help he needed along that path, so why not give Blake the same chance?

Their decision seems like a considered one, and both point out that even if Blake fails in this attempt, he’ll take valuable lessons away from the experience.

Yep. Like his life belongs to him and he can do ANYTHING with it. 🙂

Teaching Without Teaching Even When It’s Math:

Engaging, playing at their own pace, reinforcing rather than killing motivation to persist, cool.

And isn’t this what video games are designed to do, too often accomplishing that goal so well that traditional parents and teachers tend to fear their power?

Boot Camps’ Bad Name Doesn’t Extend to Computer Cure:

. . . these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace.

They come here, to the Jump Up Internet Rescue School, the first camp of its kind in South Korea and possibly the world, to be cured.

. . .The rescue camp, in a forested area about an hour south of Seoul, was created to treat the most severe cases. This year, the camp held its first two 12-day sessions, with 16 to 18 male participants each time. (South Korean researchers say an overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male.)

Home Education Currciulum That Swings Both Ways:

I remember puzzling over a related post at her place, in which one teen son was being taught how contemplative bible study holds every answer, even to modern secular education issues such as video games and television. (Need I add there’s no television in that home’s education?)

So meaningful overlap between Spunky and Snook curriculum isn’t realistic. This particular Christian curriculum approach by its own intent, excludes the secular life of the mind almost as if it sees the purpose of education as inoculation against any other way of thinking and learning but obedience and submission to infallible Authority as defined by one’s elders.

The antithesis of what I consider education.

OTOH Lazy Catholic Mom’s curriculum works both for her AND for me. 😀

The Animaniacs and especially The Simpsons are huge around here, more Young Son than FavD but learning is naturally integrated when we’re at home together — we all learn from each other’s pursuits. It rubs off.

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