I should probably preface this post by saying that I personally do not play any video games.
I've never owned a gaming device in my life.
I can't get into it and I truly don't care to.
That said, after reading the Gee article "Good Video Games and Good Learning," I can see the merits of his argument. Sure, giving kids video games is a great way to hone their focus on a particular task. Sure, they might really enjoy and care about their engagement in a game. Sure, they will improve literacy skills and technology skills if they work with video games. I see the positive aspects and how gaming can be educational. I do not want to discredit this fact.
Now into what I really want to say:
I hate 'em. I really hate 'em.
I have grown up in a generation that is so consumed by video games that it literally breaks down the possibility of maintaining relationships. I think it is a task done in isolation (aside from fellow online gamers), that is attention consuming and becomes all important. I'm sorry, but killing zombies is not the way that I want to get my education. Put down the controller and pick up a book.
I don't really know what kind of video games I could or would ever implement in a future history classroom. The only thing I can think of is Oregon Trail -- that game we played in 4th grade that was an interactive computer game that allowed kids to travel the manifest destiny journey. I don't think I really learned much from that game. I think that the majority of the information I want my future students to learn won't be teachable with video games. I'd like to be (maybe) proven wrong. (Well, I never like to be wrong, but I like to expand my knowledge). Until I see a practical application for video games in learning history, I am not an advocate of their use.
In an effort to keep this short & sweet, I'd like to offer a little song interpretation to close.
Lana del Rey's song "Video Games" talks about a boy and girl in a relationship, the girl expresses her love while her boy plays video games. His idea of fun. His biggest distraction. His favorite hobby. Not her, video games. It speaks to the isolation of our generation in video games -- connecting with technology trumps connecting with people. The meaning is lost and emotions are shallow. You can enjoy the pleasant irony of Lana's words below, in my song-of-the-post.
Cheers, gamers. oops! i mean MACers ;-)