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I’m a huge believer in interactivity. I buy into Web 2.0 and its blessings on the twenty-first century. I love the idea of opensourcing and networking. But I also like to pick and choose my own interactivity. I was intrigued with Laura’s reaction to the readings and site visits. I posted my comment to her blog here. I liked what Karin had to say about transferring skills used in Myst design to virtual museums.
That said, I’ll admit it: I’m not a fan of video games. Don’t get me wrong: I love playing cards–I can play a mean game of Nertz and I’ll be honest: I love Canasta. I also enjoy an occasional game of online Sudoku. But I am not a believer in video games. I went into my reading of James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us with this attitude, and I’m sure it colored my opinion of the book. I found myself right there with the grandfather who questioned the six-year-old playing video games–I, too, responded with “Quit wasting your time!” And I honestly never recovered. I did learn that there are several different ways to learn, and that video games can provide a different learning environment, but I just don’t buy into the transfer of cognitive skills to the classroom or into life. I want to see a study that actually transfers these skills into some other genre beyond video games. (In all fairness, I did mention my opinion to a orthopedic resident friend of mine yesterday, and he convinced me that video games can improve motor skills for laproscopic surgery.) And maybe it’s partly because I’m just not very good at video games–my eight-year-old nephew can beat me at Mario Kart any day. But I really don’t care. I want to spend my time on something where I can see an end result beyond listing my name as a top scorer. I want to show something for my time–even if it’s an intelligent conversation. See my reactions to Maureen’s post here.
That said, I think it comes down to the fact that there are several different kinds of learners, and just as many different means of interaction on the web. I think interaction can also link academic interests, or art, or music, or quilts for that matter. There is a different niche for everyone–and video games is just one example. As for me and my time, I choose others.
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