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Friday, November 07, 2008

More Learning from Video Games

Here is some interesting results related to playing video games from the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association that was held in August.

The article, Playing video games offers learning across life span, say studies, does a good job comparing the good and bad of video games and states that:
"The big picture is that there are several dimensions on which games have effects, including the amount they are played, the content of each game, what you have to pay attention to on the screen, and how you control the motions," said Gentile. "This means that games are not 'good' or 'bad,' but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could."

Similar to other media, there are good and "not so good" aspects of playing video games.

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Anonymous said...

Evening Karl,

As I watch my kids play games I know there's some learning going on there but I wonder what type of learning. It seems that there is both unconscious as well as conscious learning going on.

Of course the obvious conscious learning that occurs is the game play itself, getting to the next level. In multi-player games like Halo, and World of War Craft this is definitely some team building and leadership skills that emerge that used to emerge in the school yard when the guys would decide who the captain of the team was going to be and how they would choose teams. A leader always emerged and the team members learned their role on the team.

What concerns me more and is in need of research is the subconscious learning that is going on. I wonder if the World of Warcraft and Halo leaders of today will become the leaders of tomorrow in business. Someone should be following those kids over the next 10 years of their life. Does the leader in Halo become a manager or a very frustrated cube dwelling team member? Questions yet to be answered. Sounds like a good research project.

Brian (

Karl Kapp said...


Good point, I think multiple types of learning are occurring while kids (or anyone) play video games. In fact, the Harvard Business Review has printed an article in May 2008 that discussed how Word of Warcraft leaders are learning "real life" skills by playing games and how high level players are becoming desirable to corporations who work virtually.

Thanks for the comment!

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