Actual Reality Gaming


Hey Everyone!

How was your weekend?

Yea mine was alright too.

Anyway some great news for everyone- we’ve got a video camera!  I’m going to be filming around the library in the next few weeks, holding interviews with teens and librarians show off our sweet library collection as well as a full fledged exploration of Heberton Hall!  I’m getting together a group of key artists, photographers and videographers in the area so we can go all out and hopefully there’ll be a cool informational video on the building for you all to watch online or on Cheshire TV public access channel in the near future.

Anyway I wanted to tell you all about something that happened the other day.  Erica brought in her two little sisters the other day, Miranda and Savanna, they were around 9 and 6 respectively.  Then Nick, Cheyenne and Dustin showed up shortly after.  Erica pulled out checkers for Miranda to play, to which Nick volunteered to play against her.  And I watched as these four young adults 15-16 age range sat down to teach this child how to play checkers.  Within each of their words, each of their movements, within each of their eyes was knowledge of the responsibility of rearing and teaching these children.  I think my respect for each of them increased tenfold that morning.

It is a wonder to me at the age of 23 that all I have ever done, all these games I’d been told were a waste of time, that I’ve been playing for over 20 years of my life have all been about teaching me how to think, and react and behave and survive and live.  Yes these games aren’t actual reality, but I’ve spent 20 years in school to which people ask what I’ll do out in the real world, as though school isn’t really reality, which I think they’re mostly correct.  I’ve spent the last 23 years preparing myself for this point in time, this long awaited initiation into reality and its day-to-day living routine.  Certainly I know what I need to survive; therefore I’ll probably continue to live.  But is that all an education is for?  Surviving?  If it were I’d have to say that it’s quite redundant, I mean isn’t that what my instincts are for?  Surviving.  And I think if we take a look around at the young people that have gathered underneath the protection of the libraries mighty branches, we’d see just that, kids just surviving.  They have food, and water, a home and clothes on their back.  Tomorrow they’ll probably be alive, or rather, they won’t be dead.  I’m not sure that we’ve taught our children to really live though.  I mean I think of living in perhaps a romantic sense, that you’re taking risks, exploring and adventuring, loving and enjoying life and pursuing those strange dreams we all dream each night.

So is gaming really living?  No.  It’s just the practice test.  It’s there to help you clarify what goals you really want to achieve, save the princess, amass great wealth, obliterate a nation or raise a farm.  Then it helps you to think of how you want to achieve those goals.  This might be bold of me, but perhaps gaming should replace our academic schooling, and our academics should replace our recreation and hobbies.  They are both equal parts education, only gaming provides the fundamentals of knowledge and it’s processing whereas academics provides the specifics of knowledge and our final product. 

Either way I think it’s important to rethink our view on “kids” because despite ageism, maybe we’re just a bunch of 15 year olds teaching a 9 year old how to play a game, though then again if we’re playing a game, maybe they are the teenagers- but we’re the “kids.”

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One thought on “Actual Reality Gaming

  1. You are not alone seeing similarity in virtual reality environments and educational environments. Teachers too create safe trials for real life situations, at least they claim too. Sadly video games do this all too well and end up raising a lot of concern with teachers and parents.

    Taking Children Seriously http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/
    is one of many organizations that see the untapped potential of video games as educative devices. For more on the moral implications check out this link as well:
    http://tristanverboven.wordpress.com/

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