Schooling Obama on Games

Schooling Obama on Games

A professor in Connecticut suggests we should be blurring the line between videogames and education and asks, what if we could use Halo to teach students about The Iliad?

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This professor should stop while he's still ahead...

... That is just demented...

I'm not sure what exactly Halo can have to teach anybody, other than "Driving is not this easy in real life", or "How not to make an original plot."

It's interesting that educational theorists have basically ignored the rest of the animals we share this planet with, because otherwise they would have figured out that play is the best method by which higher-order animals learn skills.

Elurindel:
I'm not sure what exactly Halo can have to teach anybody, other than "Driving is not this easy in real life"...

Hmm I'd have to disagree there, driving in Halo was not "easy". :)
In fact, it's one of the reasons I became frustrated and ragequit the thing.

I don't know what Halo can teach either but if my teachers will give video games for home work I'm all for it!

Yeah, let's all focus on the fact that this mentions Halo instead of noticing just how good it is that the video game industry is finally getting taken even a little seriously, right?

Nice, Escapist.

This sounds like one hell of a better way to learn the Aeneid, in my opinion. I need to send this to my Classics teacher now...

Yes, the vidgame format could and should be used in an educational context. However, I disagree that present commercial games would be applicable. It would be nice if I could play Valkyria Chronicles in order to understand Ecce Homo or Twilight of the Idols, but better tools are available in the library.

In my view, game tech would prove useful to universities if people developed leveled systems that also functioned as art (Shadow of the Colossus as a huge anthropological site rich with excavated histories), and worked harder to create games that functioned as literary novels (Borges and Calvino in place of Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain and Hotel Dusk). To do these things, the States would need Canada's programs and budget for artistic development, which is rather unlikely.

Why hasn't Canada begun tapping people at universities to create game content as challenging as experimental literature and music? Is it a question of lack of money, interest, exposure or public support?

I also see a difference between typical U.S. candidates denouncing the "immorality" of vidgames and Obama telling voters to stop being distracted. Older candidates have attacked the medium itself. Obama has simply suggested that, like every other kind, this medium has its place.

Let's face it, classic literature was written as a means of entertainment, so what's the difference between reading and analyzing Charles Dickens, and playing and analyzing video games?

Dickens is disingenuous melodramatic pulp written by a hypocrite and, therefore, a bad example to anyone but Stephen King, who uses Dickens as a model for modern pulp.

Greco-Roman gods might seem to us to be figures of entertainment now, but they were taken more seriously by the writers we wish to understand. Nietzsche, Hume, and Plato are not reducible to entertainment; Borges isn't reducible to mere entertainment. That's the difference: Writers who, as Keats decreed, "load every rift with ore."

EDIT: Nevermind, where's the delete button...

I've talked to a few history teachers about the use of video games to help teach geography, to some extent. Games would have to be completely modifiable to make it pertinent to whatever they're studying. But, take a game like Europa Universalis. I've learned all kinds of interesting things about geography from playing that game. Hearts of Iron 2 also comes to mind. But, I think games would have to be tailor made for education, but it could certainly be done.

However, Halo 3? Yeah, I'm not seeing that.

Ok, I'm all for educational games if done right, like Brain Age and Professor's Curious whatever the whole title was, etc. Even making original games like the virtual dissecting of frogs to aid in classrooms is fine. This article shows someone just making excuses. A connection between a video game and literature is worth A SOLITARY mention, but not a lengthy comparison because most of the time, literature and the stories of video games have little to do with each other. You're not going to learn "Romeo and Juliet" by playing Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, nor are you going to learn about it by "watching the movie". The MAIN way you learn about "Romeo and Juliet" is to F'ING READ "ROMEO AND JULIET". Other connections are just nice supplements to better understand what Willy Shakespeare was trying to tell us. Alright, mini rant done. Back to work.

I think Obama's intention in that speech was not "Videogames R Ebil!" but rather, "Spend time with your kids, seriously". He was encouraging us to not spend every waking hour gaming but to enjoy a healthy family life, and to make sure we're a part of our childrens lives.

Also, VIDEOGAMES R EBIL!

I kid. I would point out that videogames are the modern-day mediums through which humanity expresses it's artistic soul. In ye olden days people would sit around campfires and tell stories, or pen such epics as the Illiad. Today it's television and videogames Now i'm not saying Halo 3 = The Illiad, but the themes our new mediums use are universal and if we can bring about a correlation between the ancient works and the newer ones, perhaps people will understand them more or or be more interested. To use an example of film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is effectivly the first Chapter in the life of King Arthur. A young boy of common origins is discovered by an old wizard and made to realize his destiny, claims the magical sword and by virtue of his destiny overcomes the status quote. It even has a princess that later falls in love with his best freind.

Then there was another Escapists post that pointed our a correlation between Gears of War and the Feudal Era of Britain, pointing to the aliens as analogous to the invading Vikings who seemed unstoppable and untrackable with their Longboats (Emergence Holes), and the medieval-esque design of the armaments.

Then of course there are games that directly C/P from mythology, for example the upcoming Rise of the Argonaughts which I am so so nerd-excited over.

Hey, Call of Duty actually taught me quite a bit about WWII; I don't see why other topics couldn't be explored similarly.

zoozilla:
Hey, Call of Duty actually taught me quite a bit about WWII; I don't see why other topics couldn't be explored similarly.

...What exactly could Call of Duty teach you about World War 2? That Allied soldiers could slaughter hundred of Nazi SS troops and take whole villages with a dozen men?

I mean, I agree with the concept... but... Call of Duty?

Hearts of Iron II would probably be my model for a "let's learn about WWII" game. Actually, Paradox games in general would make good history teaching aids especially with all the mods out there to make it even more historically accurate.

TsunamiWombat:

...What exactly could Call of Duty teach you about World War 2? That Allied soldiers could slaughter hundred of Nazi SS troops and take whole villages with a dozen men?

I mean, I agree with the concept... but... Call of Duty?

Well, what about all that vintage WWII footage in-between missions? There was a cool voice-over guy and everything!

I guess it was more of the game making me want to know more than actually teaching me more.

Elurindel:
I'm not sure what exactly Halo can have to teach anybody, other than "Driving is not this easy in real life", or "How not to make an original plot."

Nonsense

You're forgetting Halo's biggest lesson: How to create the world's most generic franchise and make millions"

I think if you start blurring the lines between gaming and education, you risk blurring the line between gaming and reality, and then things would get confusing and morally suspect.

 

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