More Adults Trying To Capitalize On Video Games For Higher Purpose

from the making-the-grade dept

The media has latched on to this theme and is clinging to it like a bug-eyed Grand Theft Auto addict: using video games to educate the younger generation. Yesterday, it was about teaching kids how to combat world hunger and avoid the perils of the internet. Today, it’s about literacy and cultural sensitivity. First, a teacher in the U.K. has thought of creative use of an existing game — the Myst series. He takes his young students through a round of Myst play, encouraging them to pretend they’re actually inside the scenes and then write down their observations. The second example involves a new game sponsored by the U.S. Army that walks soldiers through everyday situations in Iraq, schooling them on the appropriate ways to interact with locals. Both stories demonstrate the educational potential of hip-looking games. Adults are increasingly catching on to the medium’s power to keep the attention of younger people. It also raises a corollary lesson: If the game is going to work in the classroom, it should be innovative and interesting, rather than contrived and pandering.

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Comments on “More Adults Trying To Capitalize On Video Games For Higher Purpose”

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dorpus says:

Cultural sensitivity dilemmas

On the one hand, we’re supposed to be aware of cultural sensitivities. On the other hand, the person may get upset if they do not fit the stereotype of the group.

A nurse’s training manual mentions a case where a nurse discovers a Muslim patient on the floor, so she ran over and pulled her up. The patient turned out to be praying and got upset. But what if the patient really was down and out on the floor?

There’s the case of an Asian American who walked into a hotel, and the hotel acted “sensitively” by bringing an interpreter, but the Asian American was offended, since he only speaks English.

Brushing or sweeping your hair can be considered an offensive gesture around young black women. The movie “Undercover Brother” makes a reference to this, when the blonde she-devil character takes off her motorcycle helmet and swings her hair out in slow motion. But then, smart young black women may say that such “sensitivity” is stupid.

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