Monday, January 23, 2012

Back to the Future

I'm fresh back from a cyberlearning science conference in which games was one of the hot buzzwords. Games for education! Wouldn't it be great if we could harness the energy that goes into playing games for purposes of work and education? What's amazing to me is that people address this question as if it were new uncharted territory.

People have been playing for a long time. Playing hard. My parents warned me when I went off to college about how many of their friends at college got hooked on Bridge to the point where they practically flunked out of college.  In my case, there was soccer and then some stupid hallway version of soccer with a fluffy ball that we played a lot. I mean a lot. We dreamed up incredibly clever rules and strategies and we worked out butts off.

Today, researchers are documenting that games are intellectual, that they light up and stimulate the brain, and that after the excitement and camaraderie of competitive games, people have trouble coming back to the hum drum of daily life.  My point is that this is not new, it is an age-old phenomenon that the pure social and intellectual and adrenlin thrill of games is hard-to-match.  Of course, with computers, these games can more indepth, are available 24/7, and they freak out a lot of people....more later.....

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