Thursday, June 03, 2004

games without frontiers

Lesson 1: Don't close your browser before you publish a new entry in your blog...

Lesson 2: I saw this news item a couple of days ago and wondered why the last point it made, as a funny little tag, wasn't instead the 2nd or 3rd point and taken much more seriously. Here's the article in question and here's my favourite bit:

(In case the article is gone, it's a litany of incorrect guesses about the history of WWII, kids not knowing who was the US President or UK's Prime Minister during the war, what the Normandy invasion was about, who participated, or where it took place.)

There were some exceptions to the general ignorance. One teacher at Great Addington Church of England Primary school in Northamptonshire was amazed to find that one of his pupils had scored 100 per cent in the test.

He said: "I asked him how he knew material which we had not covered in school. He told me he had picked it up from a D-Day game he played on his computer."

I want to know why anyone would be surprised that kids learn from video games and if you put a historically accurate one in front of them (and there's lots, especially based around war), they might learn a thing or two. Instead of automatically assuming games are bad, try encouraging them to play accurate ones instead. Wired has a good piece on the subject too.

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