My iBooks Collection

My iBooks Collection
My iBooks Collection: Some of my favorite books!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Video Games and Learning

For your first assignment, we would like for you to play a digital game for at least 30 minutes. We advise you to play a game that you have never played before in a genre you are unfamiliar with. After you are done, please record a video or audio reflection of your observations and post them to your YouTube channel or any other video hosting site where your video can be viewed publicly. In no more than 60 seconds, talk about how the game structured your learning. Was the game too difficult? How did they teach you to play? Talk about any visual or audio cues that helped you learn. - Coursera, Video Games & Learning Assignment #1

For this assignment, I chose mine craft. 

I spent too much time trying to decide a game from a different genre but when I looked for 80's computer games, I discovered those are actually also the games I used to play with when I was a kid. (Classic 80's Arcade Games) Vintage may it seemed, it was pretty easy to manipulate because of the simplicity of the game. As much as I wanted to talk about that, I think I would be more reflective if I choose mine craft because this is just one of those popular games that I never really got to understand.

My nephew and cousins kept telling me to buy mine craft but since it was soooo expensive (ok just $6 but comparing it to other games which only costs 99cents in the iTunes Store), I was always hesitant to buy it because I felt it wasn't worth it. The graphics wasn't too appealing and I thought it was just one of those game scams wherein once you purchase it, it's really crap.

But being consistently on the top games in App Store with 5 star ratings and even my students kept on talking about minecraft, fine.. I pitied my nephew anyway since it looked like he really wants to have that game in his iPod. 

So there, downloaded minecraft. My reflection is based on the first time I played minecraft (which means it was prior to this assignment) 

The reflection was easy but making the 60 second video was the real challenge and I had to speak very fast but I still went beyond 60 seconds. =P I hope my voice was clear enough despite the sense of urgency.

If you barely understood what I said in the video, you can choose to just read my written reflection below.

Was the game too difficult?

I am only in my 20's and one of the things why I get along so much with kids and my students is because I still love to play video games. But when I tried playing minecraft it made me feel old. It made me feel that there is already a growing gap between my generation and the so called digital natives. My nephew was the one teaching me how to play the game, and I never felt so dumb. Usually in other games, I don't need to ask help from anybody or any tutorial because I can just simply explore the concept of the game, and quickly get it. But with minecraft, it makes me wonder how did these kids figure out how to play this thing? How do you know how to build a work shelf, or tools and other stuff? Of course I assume there's always google but with just manipulating the game alone? HOW????? I don't even understand the point of the game. Build stuff and then fight the zombies at night. What I usually do is just hide until the sun comes up and the zombies go away. I have made other attempts to play the game again and try to understand from the point of view of a today's child and why they love this expensive iTunes App Store game, but I just can't find the heart to love it.

How did I learn to play the game? It was mostly by through demo done by my nephew and observing other kids play. Not sure if the game had a tutorial if you first downloaded it, but since I wasn't the first person to play minecraft in the device, there wasn't a tutorial option anymore. It would help if they still made a help button for digital immigrants like me or still provide a tutorial game for new users. But despite having other kids showing me how to play, I still don't understand minecraft. I know the basics that you can build houses and chop wood and gather leaves and get water and kill animals. But then? What? 

The game did not structure any learning for me at all. Which comes to my conclusion, if you want students to learn through the use of video games... They definitely need to be interested in that game. I think that is a very good conclusion. So as a teacher, if you want to use video games in your classes as a medium for learning, choosing a game or designing a game that catches the interest of your students is very vital for learning to be successful.

I remembered when I was in 4th grade and I was teaching my dad to play Command & Conquer Red Alert and I always got impatient with him as if to tell him "Why can't you get it? This game is so easy!". Now the time has come that it is my turn where I can't understand the games the kids play. NOOOOOOoooooo >_<

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