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how to do things with videogames

What do we get from videogames?

What’s in it for us?

When people think about games, the mind tends to go to the more popular entertainment games such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto and the question that comes to mind is “what do games do to people?” However, as a society we tend to overlook games that fall under the umbrella of being training, advertising, or learning games. With games like Mavis Beacon Teaches TypingBanquest, and The Grocery Game, results are not related to violence or other negative effects but rather the positive outcomes and goals that are set by the game makers. For Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, the goal is not only to win the individual mini-games but also to foster typing skills and make the user faster and more accurate. These learning, advertising, and training games focus on big picture results rather than sheer entertainment value. They manage to “address more mundane activities” in engaging and interactive ways (122). With entertainment games the question is “what do games do to people.” With learning games the question becomes “what do games do for people.”




2 thoughts on “What do we get from videogames?

  1. As both McGonigal and Nardi stated that games are a type of release or positive work to allow us a sense of accomplishment in a world where the line of achievement are getting too long term for most to see. There are many games like the one you mentioned that can be functional and pertain to real skills that can be used outside of the game. Nintendo had a large reaction when marketing the Brain Age games for the DS where the user would use their memory and critical thinking skills to solve puzzles. There are also games like Guitar Hero and Rockband which although the skills do not directly translate into real life guitar but do help the player develop a better sense of rhythm as well as develop dexterity. Both are skills that can assist in real life but most likely on a less critical level. Action games provide an environment where the user can vent frustrations as well as pick it up for a short period of time without having to get bogged down with a heavy storyline and the need to remember previous events, just fun.

    Posted by diomazurek | June 13, 2013, 4:12 pm
  2. This post makes a very good point, video games are often thought of as something we do. But they should also be given credit for the things they do for us. It is mentioned that games like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing gives people practice for a skill we want to perfect (typing), but video games are used in many more ways than that. The military uses video games as training for many soldiers. Video games are used to practice certain tactics and strategies under predetermined conditions which can be altered in any way. Pilots are trained to fly using video games and simulations. This is useful because the pilot can be taught safely on the ground where there is no risk of a real crash. Not to mention that if the pilot does crash, he or she is not destroying an incredibly expensive airplane. In this use, video games teach a necessary skill without the risk of death and destruction of a military plane because of the mistakes of a learning pilot.

    Posted by nrfico | June 15, 2013, 1:38 pm

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