Sunday, July 15, 2007

[[IMMERSIVE]] Video Game Generation Gap - Watch more free videos

Here is an exchange between a teenage child and his parents the illustrates the gulf of understanding created by the computer game generation gap. Particularly interesting is the role the game itself assumes in this dispute. The parents equate videogames with something of no intrinsically value, and which are furthermore dangerously addictive. This discourse seemingly has given them permission to escalate the situation very quickly into conflict. Rather than managing their child's play and setting expectations beforehand about time limits for play. This is not to say that the child is an entirely innocent party here, but (unfortunately for us parents) the burden is on us to manage these situations and set the limits beforehand. Not for the child to superhumanly be able to curtain his interest on cue.

On this topic, I particularly liked this exchange between a parent or an autistic child a educator, because I think it illustrates very well how prejudices about videogames simply get in the way in trying to understand a child.

"[My son] is a video junkie and not in a way that I think anyone would consider healthy, either physically or mentally. "

"This is not a respectful way of talking about your son's passions and joys. You need to reconsider how you view his hobbies and likes and dislikes, because it is through them that learning will happen."

This is the point. Nothing in human development is useless, if the obstacle and reward structure of computer cames is compelling, it is only because it reproduces something in our evolutionary psychology for making progress in life. See, for example, Steven Johnson's argument about this:

"Our brain is wired with “seeking circuitry” and relishes exercising “the regime of competence.” TV shows like “Lost” and video games like “World of Warcraft” are addictive because they reward exploration. Instead of employing narrative arcs, they keep you in a state of being always challenged but not quite overwhelmed as you ascend from skill level to skill level."

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