Everything I Know I Learned From Carmen San Diego

from the trade-wars-taught-us-finance dept

Coming from a generation which honed its problem-solving skills decades ago sitting at an Apple IIe and playing Oregon Trail, it's a little strange to see a professor in 2006 having to argue the merits of educational video games as a learning tool in the classroom. The professor argues that video gaming can teach children innovative adaptation skills, assuming teachers are using the right games: his. Dubbed "epistemic games," the professor's titles teach kids adaptive thinking while they tackle simulated occupations such as biomechanical engineering, journalism, or graphic artistry. We've discussed studies claiming that games help kids to multitask, improve their confidence, or just make learning more interesting. Of course there's been quite a few scientifically dubious studies as well, many financed by publishers who argue kids should be gaming in class, well, just because. Many of these studies and articles seem to lump games into one massive category, and obviously there's a huge difference between Doom and city simulators -- or skill building games like Math Blaster. Of course the media's obsession with Grand Theft Auto may have left parents and teachers game-phobic, making them unreceptive to new educational gaming ideas. Whatever the reason, the educational gaming industry has been hard hit, and has been facing a consistent and significant drop in sales since 2000. It's a shame, since trying to find Carmen San Diego made us who we are today.

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  1. identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 11 Jan 2007 @ 1:12pm

    everything i know

    i've seen some good titles for "articles" here, this takes the cake. it's so true. it's also nice to see nintendo stepping it up in this field with brain age. games like doom (in particular cs) do have their merits though, they promote hand eye coordination and greatly improve your reflexes (even if the effect only lasts a short time after playing the game); and as misanthropic pointed out, it's useful to know that when it comes to zombies your best bets are a shotgun or chainsaw.

    heh... and as qyiet points out, without games in general it would have been a lot longer (if ever, i still think oses should be first and foremost command prompt based) before i learned about editing my autoexec.bat because my soundcard wasn't working...

    oh, and there is some economic merit in teaching your kids that you can stay up as long as you kill the hooker and steal the money back AFTER services are rendered.

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