Grabbing us and not letting go

After my initial thoughts a few nights ago, I have thought more about what keeps players playing and what they are learning in the process. So I’ve gone back over my notes and the discussions from last October when the McArthur Foundation held a 3 week discussion on video games and learning (it was actually one of my first blog posts over at Bibliographic Gaming. Here are some worthwhile quotes and thoughts from the week on game literacies:

Victoria Carrington: “Computer games are the site of some of these textual practices – practices that I think many of us would agree are becoming highly valued in relation to being able to effectively participate in our communities” (October 23, 2006).

James Paul Gee: “So…the question arises about what sorts of other bumps games make on people’s bodies and minds and what sorts of other effects players have on games and how these two are transcacted (October 23, 2006).” Games can often be more lasting and meaningful experiences, because they are just that – experiences.

Jay Lemke: “… we never use just one of these resource systems all by itselft. In real life we are always using several simultaneously, even if we are not paying attention to all of them (Oct. 23).” Sound like information literacy.

Lemke: “…game interactivity involves not just our responding to the game, but the game responding to us, in ways that were both meaningful and surprising, so that gameplay could be seen as a kind of dialogue or conversation” (Oct. 23). The experience of playing goes beyond simple button pushing.

Gee: “One thing that interests me in video games is that `reading` (taking meaning from the game/text is a form of `writing` (producing meanings). (Oct. 24).” Very similar to some arguments Gee makes in his books.

Brian Thompson: “…most highly motivated, highly skilled players are trained to reflect upon… whatever game they are playing” (Oct. 24). Games provide continued opportunity for critical analysis and reflection.

Lemke: “Authoritarian approaches to learning are counter-productive because they inhibit the playful attitude of experimentation… this kind of play is essential to learning” (Oct. 25). The idea of play is something that can be created in a variety of lessons, not just games.

Linda Polin: “The types of attitudes that make an effective game player require risk taking, an active role in creating the meaning, non-linear navigation and attendance to multiple cueing systems and of course, problem solving and lateral thinking” (Oct. 25). Really, who doesn’t want students that are able to do this?