Why Video Games are Good for You! Tim Hart University of Maine  Fall 2008
Who am I? <ul><li>Tim Hart </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Technologist for UMaine </li></ul><ul><li>thart.edublogs.org </...
Gamer? <ul><li>Played Video Games all my life </li></ul><ul><li>Some systems I’ve owned: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commodore 6...
What is this preso is about? <ul><li>To convince your parents, teachers, and principals that gaming is worthwhile. </li></ul>
Who is this? <ul><li>Mario </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Full name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mario Mario </li></ul></ul>
Who is this? <ul><li>Samus Aran </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Male or Female </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Female </li></ul></ul>
Who is this? <ul><li>Master Chief </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Full name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Master Chief Petty Offi...
Who is this? <ul><li>Niko Bellic </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Cousin’s name? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman Bellic </li><...
Top Ten Gamer Facts <ul><li>US computer and video game software sales grew six percent in 2006 to $7.4 billion – almost tr...
Top Ten Gamer Facts <ul><li>Eighty-six percent of game players under the age of 18 report that they get their parents' per...
Why do we play games? <ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Creating and...
What do all these people have in common? Image courteous of Scott Lewis
They are all in the “Zone” Image courtesy of Scott Lewis
What is the Zone?
Challenges for Game Designers  <ul><li>Creating an activity that allows for a “in the zone” experience  </li></ul><ul><li>...
Challenges for Teachers  <ul><li>Creating an activity that allows for a “in the zone” experience  </li></ul><ul><li>Allowi...
They are the same! Game Designer = Teacher
The Goals of Games <ul><li>Articulated by Will Wright, designer of SimCity and The Sims  </li></ul><ul><li>Present players...
Layered goals of Ping Pong <ul><li>Short Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Second - Hit the ball </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 S...
Layered goals of Reading <ul><li>Short Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Paragraphs </...
Layers of TV vs
Layered goals of Donkey Kong ? ?
The Ratings <ul><li>The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial i...
MPAA Ratings <ul><li>G = General Audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All ages admitted. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PG = Parental G...
ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Everyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older </li></ul></ul>...
ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Everyone+10 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older </li></ul><...
ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Teen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older </li></ul></ul><ul...
ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Mature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older </li></u...
ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Adult Only </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and olde...
Space Invaders <ul><li>Space Invaders will kill your children! This dangerous &quot;game&quot; gives players three &quot;l...
Students at Risk Kids who don’t play video games are at risk! They get in trouble more often! Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and hi...
Some Research  <ul><li>Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and his wife Cheryl K. Olson, ScD </li></ul><ul><li>Research was funded with ...
Myth #1 <ul><li>The growth in violent video game sales is linked to the growth in youth violence — especially school viole...
Fact <ul><li>Violent Crime in Schools fell 44% from 1994-2001 </li></ul><ul><li>We have the lowest juvenile arrest rate fo...
Myth #2 <ul><li>Girls don’t play violent video games like Grand Theft Auto. </li></ul>
Fact <ul><li>29% of girls say they play at least one M-rated game a lot </li></ul><ul><li>One in five listed Grand Theft A...
Myth #3 <ul><li>Playing violent video games creates criminals </li></ul><ul><li>Within hours of the 2007 shootings at Virg...
Fact <ul><li>There is a lower rate of violence in those who do play games. </li></ul><ul><li>Cho’s roommates never saw him...
So Basically... <ul><li>“There is absolutely no evidence that playing violent video games will turn kids into criminals.” ...
So Video Games don’t hurt you... ...but do they help you?
YES!
How? <ul><li>Don’t Bother Me Mom - I’m Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marc Prensky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationa...
21st Century Skills <ul><li>“The true secret of why kids spend so much time on their games is that they’re learning things...
For the Doctors <ul><li>“I use the same hand-eye coordination to play video games as I use for surgery. </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Why the worry? <ul><li>“A child plays basketball or plays the piano for 4 hours a day, we may describe him as a dedicated ...
Multitasking <ul><li>Increases the ability to do many things at the same time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AND do them well. </l...
Rules <ul><li>Gamers figure things out on their own better than non-gamers </li></ul><ul><li>Probe their environment for u...
Risk Taking <ul><li>Gamers are risk takers </li></ul><ul><li>Gamers are more likely to try different strategies </li></ul>...
On Digital Immigrants <ul><li>You may be a digital immigrant if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You print out your email </li></ul>...
Games teach strategy <ul><li>Cause and effect </li></ul><ul><li>Long term winning versus short term gains </li></ul><ul><l...
Gamers are good at business <ul><li>Are good at collaborative problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Are committed to professio...
Gamers are good at business <ul><li>Care about their organization </li></ul><ul><li>Love data </li></ul><ul><li>Are comfor...
10 year old gamers learned. <ul><li>Everyone can save the world if they try </li></ul><ul><li>Two against one isn’t fair <...
Steps to get adults on board <ul><li>Read Don’t Bother me Mom - I’m learning </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to children about gami...
Games to point out <ul><li>The Battle for Westnoth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.wesnoth.org/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fr...
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Why Video Games Are Good For You

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Preso for getting teachers engaged in conversation about educational games and simulations.

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Why Video Games Are Good For You

  1. 1. Why Video Games are Good for You! Tim Hart University of Maine Fall 2008
  2. 2. Who am I? <ul><li>Tim Hart </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Technologist for UMaine </li></ul><ul><li>thart.edublogs.org </li></ul><ul><li>Gamer </li></ul>
  3. 3. Gamer? <ul><li>Played Video Games all my life </li></ul><ul><li>Some systems I’ve owned: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commodore 64, Atari 2600, NES, Gameboy, SNES, Genesis, Virtual Boy, N64, Playstation, Gamecube, Playstation 2, XBOX, Nintendo DS, Wii, XBox 360 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Live account ID = Hartix </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No, I don’t own a PS3. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a M.Ed after my title </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is this preso is about? <ul><li>To convince your parents, teachers, and principals that gaming is worthwhile. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who is this? <ul><li>Mario </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Full name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mario Mario </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Who is this? <ul><li>Samus Aran </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Male or Female </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Female </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Who is this? <ul><li>Master Chief </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Full name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Who is this? <ul><li>Niko Bellic </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus Points - Cousin’s name? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman Bellic </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Top Ten Gamer Facts <ul><li>US computer and video game software sales grew six percent in 2006 to $7.4 billion – almost tripling industry software sales since 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>Sixty-seven percent of American heads of households play computer and video games. </li></ul><ul><li>The average game player is 33 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. </li></ul><ul><li>The average age of the most frequent game buyer is 38 years old. In 2007, 92 percent of computer game buyers and 80 percent of console game buyers were over the age of 18. </li></ul><ul><li>Eighty-five percent of all games sold in 2006 were rated &quot;E&quot; for Everyone, &quot;T&quot; for Teen, or &quot;E10+&quot; for Everyone 10+. For more information on ratings, please see www.esrb.org. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Top Ten Gamer Facts <ul><li>Eighty-six percent of game players under the age of 18 report that they get their parents' permission when renting or buying games, and 91 percent say their parents are present when they buy games. </li></ul><ul><li>Thirty-six percent of American parents say they play computer and video games. Further, 80 percent of gamer parents say they play video games with their kids. Sixty-six percent feel that playing games has brought their families closer together. </li></ul><ul><li>Thirty-eight percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%). </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007, 24 percent of Americans over the age of 50 played video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999. </li></ul><ul><li>Forty-nine percent of game players say they play games online one or more hours per week. In addition, 34 percent of heads of households play games on a wireless device, such as a cell phone or PDA, up from 20 percent in 2002. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why do we play games? <ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Creating and strengthening social bonds </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>
  12. 12. What do all these people have in common? Image courteous of Scott Lewis
  13. 13. They are all in the “Zone” Image courtesy of Scott Lewis
  14. 14. What is the Zone?
  15. 15. Challenges for Game Designers <ul><li>Creating an activity that allows for a “in the zone” experience </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing a wide array of skill levels to initially enjoy and be immersed in the game </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining “in the zone” throughout the experience </li></ul>
  16. 16. Challenges for Teachers <ul><li>Creating an activity that allows for a “in the zone” experience </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing a wide array of skill levels to initially enjoy and be immersed in the lesson </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining “in the zone” throughout the experience </li></ul>
  17. 17. They are the same! Game Designer = Teacher
  18. 18. The Goals of Games <ul><li>Articulated by Will Wright, designer of SimCity and The Sims </li></ul><ul><li>Present players with multiple challenges at the same time with varying time frames </li></ul><ul><li>The higher the number of layered challenges, the more fun the game is </li></ul>
  19. 19. Layered goals of Ping Pong <ul><li>Short Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Second - Hit the ball </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 Seconds - Set up a point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 Seconds - Win a point </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 Minutes - Win a game </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Layered goals of Reading <ul><li>Short Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Paragraphs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Chapter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Book </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Layers of TV vs
  22. 22. Layered goals of Donkey Kong ? ?
  23. 23. The Ratings <ul><li>The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games </li></ul><ul><li>Kind of like movie ratings - G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s take a look at movie ratings for comparison </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. MPAA Ratings <ul><li>G = General Audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All ages admitted. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PG = Parental Guidance Suggested </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some material may be inappropriate for younger children. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PG-13 = Parents Strongly Cautioned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 years old. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>R = Restricted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People under 17 are not admitted without parental guidance. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NC-17 = No Children Under 17 Allowed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody under 17 is admitted. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Everyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>makes up 49% of all games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>like G </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Everyone+10 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>makes up 4% of all games </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Teen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>makes up 32% of all games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>like PG-13 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Mature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>makes up 15% of all games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>like R </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. ERSB Ratings <ul><li>Adult Only </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>like NC-17 </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Space Invaders <ul><li>Space Invaders will kill your children! This dangerous &quot;game&quot; gives players three &quot;lives.&quot; This will clearly make children think they can get another life after they die, thereby causing kids to start killing themselves in droves thinking that they can instantly come back to life! Video games will promote teen suicide! These games must be put to an end. </li></ul>1978 Headlines from the past:
  31. 31. Students at Risk Kids who don’t play video games are at risk! They get in trouble more often! Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and his wife Cheryl K. Olson, ScD
  32. 32. Some Research <ul><li>Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and his wife Cheryl K. Olson, ScD </li></ul><ul><li>Research was funded with $1.5 million by the U.S. Dept. of Justice </li></ul><ul><li>Findings reported in Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some of the myths debunked </li></ul>
  33. 33. Myth #1 <ul><li>The growth in violent video game sales is linked to the growth in youth violence — especially school violence — throughout the country. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Fact <ul><li>Violent Crime in Schools fell 44% from 1994-2001 </li></ul><ul><li>We have the lowest juvenile arrest rate for violent crimes since 1983. </li></ul><ul><li>Murder Arrests in 1993 = 3,800 </li></ul><ul><li>Murder Arrests in 2001 = 1,400 </li></ul>Graph created by Tim Hart at crappygraphs.com
  35. 35. Myth #2 <ul><li>Girls don’t play violent video games like Grand Theft Auto. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Fact <ul><li>29% of girls say they play at least one M-rated game a lot </li></ul><ul><li>One in five listed Grand Theft Auto </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Theft Auto was second only to the Sims in popularity. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Myth #3 <ul><li>Playing violent video games creates criminals </li></ul><ul><li>Within hours of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, reporters were on the airwaves and the Internet blaming video games for Seung-Hui Cho’s violent behavior. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Fact <ul><li>There is a lower rate of violence in those who do play games. </li></ul><ul><li>Cho’s roommates never saw him play video games </li></ul><ul><li>In the official report by the Virginia Tech Review Panel, the only video game he was mentioned playing was Sonic the Hedgehog. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When he was nine. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. So Basically... <ul><li>“There is absolutely no evidence that playing violent video games will turn kids into criminals.” </li></ul>~ Lawrence Kutner
  40. 40. So Video Games don’t hurt you... ...but do they help you?
  41. 41. YES!
  42. 42. How? <ul><li>Don’t Bother Me Mom - I’m Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marc Prensky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the critical areas of education and learning. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Here is his book in a nutshell... </li></ul>
  43. 43. 21st Century Skills <ul><li>“The true secret of why kids spend so much time on their games is that they’re learning things they need for their twenty-first century lives” </li></ul>
  44. 44. For the Doctors <ul><li>“I use the same hand-eye coordination to play video games as I use for surgery. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. James Rosser, Beth Israel Hospital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doctors that played games earlier in life made 40% less mistakes during surgery. </li></ul><ul><li>Playing video games before surgery also lowers error rates. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Why the worry? <ul><li>“A child plays basketball or plays the piano for 4 hours a day, we may describe him as a dedicated athlete or musician. But if that child takes the same approach to playing video games, spending hours each day at the computer, and reveling in the details and strategies of play, we may worry about an addiction.” </li></ul>~Dr. Cheryl Olson,author of Grand Theft Childhood
  46. 46. Multitasking <ul><li>Increases the ability to do many things at the same time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AND do them well. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“I remember my mom and dad yelling at me [for playing too much] - they didn’t know I had a 200-person [online] guild to manage.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>~Stephen Gillette, Business entrepreneur </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Rules <ul><li>Gamers figure things out on their own better than non-gamers </li></ul><ul><li>Probe their environment for understanding </li></ul><ul><li>12:00 flashing on the VCR? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(if they even know what that is?) </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Risk Taking <ul><li>Gamers are risk takers </li></ul><ul><li>Gamers are more likely to try different strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightened trial and error </li></ul>
  49. 49. On Digital Immigrants <ul><li>You may be a digital immigrant if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You print out your email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn to Internet for information second rather than first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You read a manual instead of assuming the program itself will teach you to use it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You print out a document to edit it instead of just doing it on the screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You think “real life” happens only off-line! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I say video game, you say “Pac-Man” </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Games teach strategy <ul><li>Cause and effect </li></ul><ul><li>Long term winning versus short term gains </li></ul><ul><li>Order from seeming chaos </li></ul><ul><li>Complex system behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Counter-intuitive results </li></ul><ul><li>Using obstacles as motivation </li></ul><ul><li>The value of persistence </li></ul>
  51. 51. Gamers are good at business <ul><li>Are good at collaborative problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Are committed to professional excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Put a high premium on skill and adding value </li></ul><ul><li>Have a strong sense of competence </li></ul><ul><li>See the world through the lens of competition </li></ul><ul><li>Have both high developed teamwork skills and the desire to be part of a team </li></ul><ul><li>The list keeps going... </li></ul>Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever
  52. 52. Gamers are good at business <ul><li>Care about their organization </li></ul><ul><li>Love data </li></ul><ul><li>Are comfortable taking measured risks </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-task well </li></ul><ul><li>Learn on the fly </li></ul><ul><li>Think globally </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t count on fixed organizational structures </li></ul><ul><li>Expect themselves to actually deliver </li></ul>Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever
  53. 53. 10 year old gamers learned. <ul><li>Everyone can save the world if they try </li></ul><ul><li>Two against one isn’t fair </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t shoot people </li></ul><ul><li>Have patience </li></ul><ul><li>The good guys always win </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t trust everyone you meet </li></ul><ul><li>Help your friends </li></ul>
  54. 54. Steps to get adults on board <ul><li>Read Don’t Bother me Mom - I’m learning </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to children about gaming. Why do they like it and what it means to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite an child to play a game with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell them to remember the horrible rock music your parents warned would rot your brains. </li></ul><ul><li>Take Educational Games and Simulations in the Spring. </li></ul>
  55. 55. Games to point out <ul><li>The Battle for Westnoth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.wesnoth.org/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free Rice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.freerice.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fold It! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://fold.it/portal/adobe_main/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>gwap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.gwap.com/gwap/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scratch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://scratch.mit.edu/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://secondlife.com / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PHUN </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://phun.cs.umu.se/wiki </li></ul></ul>

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