Posted on Tue - September 9, 2008

"How Videogames Blind Us With Science"

Some videogamers are teaching themselves science to win the game. Is this a glimpse of things to come?

I think I knew this, but it is nice to vindicated.

One of the reasons kids get bored by science is that too many teachers present it as a fusty collection of facts for memorization. This is precisely wrong. Science isn't about facts. It's about the quest for facts -- the scientific method, the process by which we hash through confusing thickets of ignorance. It's dynamic, argumentative, collaborative, competitive, filled with flashes of crazy excitement and hours of drudgework, and driven by ego: Our desire to be the one who figures it out, at least for now. It's dramatic and nutty and fun.

And it's pretty much how kids already approach the games they love. They're already scientists; they already know the value of the scientific method. Teachers just need to talk to them in their language, so that the kids can begin to understand the joy of puzzling through the offline, "real" world too.

Now I am not a hard core gamer, I am an occasional dabbler. But if the games are built to stress collaborative problem solving, then that sounds like science to me.

Collaborative, self-governing investigation.

I want it happening MORE!

© 2005 - 2008 All Rights Reserved