Contents (tentative)Introduction – Why Do People Love Video GamesChapter 1 – Family ConnectionsChapter 2 – Physical and Health BenefitsChapter 3 – Social BenefitsChapter 4 – The Other side of the Violent Video GameargumentChapter 5 – Cognitive and Creative BenefitsChapter 6 – Video Games in EducationChapter 7 – Educational Value of Creating Video GamesChapter 8 – Business and CareersChapter 9 – Serious Video GamesConclusion
Introduction“The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression” Dr. BrianSutton-SmithTo understand why video games have the ability to createso many benefits, it is important to understand whatplayers love about gaming and what keeps them comingback again and again. It isn’t only for the fun.
What Is It About Video Games That Keeps Players So Engaged?In Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture isActually Making Us Smarter, Steven Johnson says this about videogames:“The interesting question here for me is not whether games are, on thewhole, more complex than other cultural experiences targeted at kidstoday- I think the answer to that is an emphatic yes. The question iswhy kids are so eager to soak up that much information when it isdelivered to them in game form. … Why does a seven year old soak upthe intricacies of industrial economics in game form, when the samesubject would send him screaming for the exits in a classroom?”“Most of the time, when you’re hooked on a game, what draws you inis an elemental form of desire: the desire to see the next thing.”
Jane McGonigal discusses this topic in great length in hergroundbreaking book, Reality is Broken: Why Games MakeUs Better and How They Can Change the World. Accordingto McGonigal:“In today’s society, computer and video games are fulfillinggenuine human needs that the real world is currentlyunable to satisfy”“Compared with games, reality is too easy. Gameschallenge us with voluntary obstacles and help us put ourpersonal strengths to better use.”“As online role-playing gamers everywhere know, levelingup is one of the most satisfying kinds of feedback everdesigned. Watching your avatar profile get more powerfuland skillful makes the work feel personally satisfying in away that a cleaner room just doesn’t.”
In Video Games and Learning, Scott Colfer discusses what makes video games motivating andengaging:Interaction: games talk back. In fact, nothing happens until a player acts and makesdecisions. Then the game reacts, giving the player feedback and new problems.Pleasantly frustrating: good games stay within, but at the outer edge, of the player’scompetence – they feel doable, but challenging. This is a highly motivating state for learners.Performance before competence: Players can perform before they are competent and aresupported by the design of the game, and often by the support of other, more advancedplayers.Reflection: failures and successes are shared with the player but they are not invested in theplayer’s identity. The failures are ultimately the character’s and can be analyzed as such.Personalization: Games promote the notion of personalized learning where the users of aneducational system are not just the receivers of learning, but active participants and co-producers in the educational system.
What do you think of the potential of this eBook after seeing this brief sample? Jennifer Comet Wagner