Video Games in Education

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Video games have been around since 1972, when Pong was released by the Atari Corporation. Since Pong, games have vastly improved in both realism and complexity. This has led some critics to attack video games because of their violence and numbing the player’s sensitivity to cruelty and death. However supporters of this new medium have tried to show how video games can also be used as a learning tool in the classroom (Aguilera, Video Games and Education). Through various studies games have proven themselves as an effective teaching tool and society is beginning to accept video games as more than just entertainment. First the cultural and social influences on games must be examined. Squire (Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games) points out that the majority of publicity video games receive, since their creation, has been negative. Most of the criticism is due to extremely violent, and grossly unrealistic, games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Mortal Combat. These two games are examples of First Person Shooters (FPS) and their purpose is to be intense and violent based on the targeted audience age. For clarification, “violent video games” refers to games in the FPS genre. Surprisingly, very few studies focus on simulator games such as Civilization or SimCity. These have been considered major contenders if video games where to be used in classrooms to teach topics such as politics, public policy, economics, and law. Simulator games are built to force a player to think about the ramifications of his/her actions and consider multiple complex issues that all require close attention. It could be negotiating a trade agreement with a rival country, deciding if it is worth the resources to try and capture an enemy’s oil resources... ... middle of paper ... ....comPsychological Science in the Public Interest, Dec. 2003. Web. 20 April 2014. Drummond, Aaron. “Video-Games Do Not Negatively Impact Adolescent Academic Performance in Science, Mathematics or Reading.” Plos One, April. 2014. Web. 18 April 2014. Johnson, Steven. “Why Games Are Good For You.” From Inquiry to Academic Writing, Ed. Stuart Greene, 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012. 481-494. Print. Squire, Kurt. “Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games.” The International Journal of Computer Game Research, July. 2002. Web. 17 April 2014. White, Curtis. “A Good Without Light.” From Inquiry to Academic Writing, Ed. Stuart Greene, 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012. 837-844. Print. Willoughby, Teena. “Do Video Games Promote Positive Youth Development?” Journal of Adolescent Research, Nov. 2012. Web. 16 April 2014.
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