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emmagulley's picture

Hi Kyiera,I think your point

Hi Kyiera,

I think your point about violence in video games is interesting and important to remember.  I remember hearing about a study that found that after users played a certain video game (Grand Theft Auto?) they actually experienced much higher levels of uneasiness, dissatisfaction, and aggression than before.  

As you suggest, even the physical act of playing a video game is less-than-healthy.  During our last class one of the things we talked about was a fear of kids being stagnant--exercising their thumbs and hands instead of their entire bodies.  I think that is definitely alarming and I'm sure it's part of what's contributing to the obesity epidemic in American children.

But I also think we need to consider the fact that "gaming"--even "video gaming" or electronic gaming--means different things to different people,and has the potential to grow and change in ways we can't imagine right now.  What about games like the Wii fit that encourage users to move?  Also, it is great to spend time outside, but not all kids have access to playgrounds or yards.  Of course, not everyone has access to video games either, but at least when a kid is playing a game in his/her living room, it might be more convenient for a parent to supervise them there.  

I'd also like to talk about the phrase, "It's a lack of education."  Is there really such a thing as a lack of education... anywhere?  Is "not learning" an act?  Part of this goes back to "what does it mean to learn?" "What is an education?"  "What is the purpose of an education?"  Playing a video game might not make you memorize facts about the War of 1812.  It might not even help you with your multiplication tables.  But I think "education" and "learning" go beyond the walls of a classroom--what about all that we've learned as human beings?  What about all of the things we've learned that no one actually taught us?  Playing even the most banal  video game can teach you tons of things--hand/eye coordination; fine motor control; memory; logic--and can connect you to players--and, thus, cultures--around the world.

So my direct answer to your concluding question is:  my knee-jerk reaction is to say, yes, I would rather have my little cousin run around outside than lay on the couch, eating and playing games.  But I want to question the notion of what it means to do "something constructive" because I would argue that every experience teaches us something, even at the most basic level.

My question for you is:  do you think that video games provide us with anything that is "good" and "productive"? Do video games only "waste time" or provide us with entertainment/distractions?  Can users learn anything from video games?  How or how not?

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