Gaming and Learning at the same time? Surely not!

I sat today with my 12 year old son and watched him play a game on the Xbox that he received from his cousins for his birthday.  I hadn’t really paid much attention to it before and have only just realized the rating is M15.  Feeling like a bad mother for allowing this game in the house I continued to watch to see if I could find any so called ‘learning experiences’ in the game.  It didn’t take too long and a few questions later to discover that he was actually really good at it and knew exactly what to do even though the game was only new.

There are actually quite a few skills that this game – Skyrim – has taught my son.  Firstly, I am amazed at how his eyes never left the screen and he was able to manipulate the controller with lightning speed without even a glance.  The game is centred on the main character accepting missions or quests to find treasures.  Of course, along the way he needs to kill people and gothic creatures but the way in which my son is able to choose weaponry to get the job done quickly is a skill in itself!  The gamer chooses to view the screen as a third party, where they can see themselves or from the point of view angle.  The language needed to understand the game and the instructions is quite advanced and I truly believe that gaming has given my son the ability to decipher more complex texts in other areas of his life.

The game also requires the gamer to solve riddles and puzzles to get to the next levels.  A lot of problem solving needs to be completed before the gamer can move on some of which involved intricate map reading and navigation skills.  There was a section in the game when a character was giving detailed instructions to help with the challenge although my son chose to skip this narration as he said he didn’t need to listen to it because he knew what to do.  I asked him how did he know if he had never played before and of course the answer came back –“YouTube”.  Ah –ha.  The answer to all of our prayers!

12 Year Old Gamer!

2 thoughts on “Gaming and Learning at the same time? Surely not!

  1. Hiya Jen,

    I am currently finishing off another blog post which focuses on ‘Gaming as Learning’ when I popped onto our blog and saw your latest post. It was great to read about a ‘real life’ experience which touches upon some of the readings I have been exploring. It really consolidated the literature as you discussed the learning of new skills, quick decision making, analysis, understanding the language within the text and the ability to carefully follow instructions. And yes – ‘You Tube’ most certainly is the answer to many prayers! 🙂

  2. Pingback: CLN647 Group N 2012 - Watchin, Talking and Playing A Game

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