Monica3800’s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

Archive for brain age

The value of gaming

Disco Fever in L2 ClassLast week in class we played games as has well documented in the biblioblogosphere. I observed DDR, Guitar Hero, Second Life and Brain Age. I even participated in Brain Age and Second Life. The night demonstrated some of the concepts from Squire and Steinkuehler’s Meet the Gamers article that I found most compelling, exciting and heartening both as a future librarian and as a new parent.

Squire and Steinkuehler credit gaming culture with developing skills in players such as focusing on “expertise rather than status”, “negotiat[ing] multiple, competing information spaces that span different media”, and providing “access to social networks” leading to “access to both collective information and collective intelligence”. I could see these concepts mostly in Second Life. Second Life was the most complex of the games we explored in class and it opens up worlds of opportunity to players. DDR and Guitar Hero were fun and required some risk taking (the risk of looking silly can sometimes be the biggest one!) that Levine outlined (in Library Technology Reports in Sept/Oct 2006) as key to the gaming culture.

I love giving kids a chance to gain confidence through games that entail risk taking and trial and error. I never truly understood the importance of learning from and not fearing my mistakes until I was well out of college. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve totally learned that yet. I think it’s a huge accomplishment if we can teach our kids not to get bogged down by the culture of perfect that dominates our world.

Right now I’m watching my young son try to figure out how to crawl through trial and error and lots of risk taking (cringe…) Every day is a game for him and he exudes adventure and possibility. I saw some of that during our gaming night. Keeping us all connected with that part of ourselves is so important. So, now I go back to worrying about the dog tearing up the house, paying the mortgage and how much gray I have in my hair. My son has given me a much better sense of the importance of fun, games and living in the moment. Our class gave me a chance to test that out in a different environment!