Video Game Post #2

This post may be my last post about my game because I ended up finishing the game fairly quick. It is not a long game at all, and I think this is because it is made for children between the ages of three to about five or six years old at the oldest. Overall, I think this game is very beneficial for children in that age range because it is simple enough for them to manipulate the controls with ease, but they are also learning a lot of helpful information at the same time. It is also based off of the popular children’s cartoon Arthur, and I think this will peak the interest of a lot of kids to want to see what the game is all about.

In playing this game to the end a couple of times, I noticed some of the things we have been learning and discussing in class. I believe that this game is an example of an identity style game. I think this because the child, or whoever plays the game, is acting as if they were the famous cartoon character, Arthur. They are taking on his “identity” in a sense and are playing his role during the first day of school. The students are supposed to commit to this role of Arthur and see themselves from his point of view. They do this in a variety of ways in the game such as walking around his classroom, doing whatever his teacher needs to help the kindergarteners feel welcomed on the first day of school. I also think this Arthur game is also a representation of a well-ordered problem type of video game. I think this because in the game, Arthur’s teacher has the “problem” (I don’t think it is a problem, but more of a sense of needing help) of trying to make sure his class is taken care of, but at the same time he wants to make sure the kindergarteners are being taken care of and welcomed as well. I think this way of making the problems not insanely complicated for the students to complete is genius because the students will not be getting frustrated with the game, but it will be the perfect amount of challenge that they need to keep them interested in what is going on. This game is also a good representation of the skills as strategies style of video game. I think this because it is teaching important life skills that children need through a video game. For example, it is teaching children how school works, and what goes on when it is the first day of school. Many students have anxiety about the first day of school and this game can ease that anxiety immensely. This game also gives students a glimpse into how school works as it gives Arthur, the character being used to play, different responsibilities around the school which is a very normal thing in elementary school classrooms. This is teaching students that they could possibly be given a role in their classroom which can make them feel more comfortable because they will know what to expect. Overall, this game was very cute and would be very beneficial for students to play before they enter kindergarten, or even on the first day to ease their nerves. The photo below is what you see when you are at the end of the game. The goal of the game was to help the kindergarteners accomplish everything that they needed to do on the first day of school to be able to have a welcome to school party for all of the kids at the school. I think this is a simple, but fun reward for the age range that plays this game.

Now that I have played an educational video game and read about everyone else’s experiences in our class, I think I have come to a conclusion about video games being used in the classroom. I think that there are so many educational purpose based video games out there, and if teachers take the time to find them, they can be very beneficial for students of any age range. I found a quote from the Gee article that we had to read for class that showed what I believe about video games being used in the classroom. “Humans think and understand best when they can imagine (simulate) an experience in such a way that the simulation prepares them for actions they need and want to take in order to accomplish their goals”(Gee, 2013). This quote from Gee is very insightful to me. I think that he is very right about how humans can learn best when they are experiencing things for themselves, in whatever way that may be, such as by playing a video game. But I also think that the integration of video games into classrooms needs to be carefully planned. I think that the teachers themselves need to play these games before asking their students to do so. If the teacher gets bored by the game, their students will too and that isn’t fair to give them busy work like that. I also think that video games don’t need to always be being played, but strategically used in different lessons in the most beneficial way possible. I think that if they are overused, students will stop learning from them and just treat them like any other video game that they might be playing at home. I think that it is really important for schools and curriculum creators to think about the best way to implement the use of educational video games into elementary, middle, and high schools because they can be beneficial for all ages. I hope that I am able to find the balance between using video games for fun, and using them for educational purposes in my classroom one day because I was never able to experience something like that when I was in elementary school, or any level of school for that matter.

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