Life lessons from mobile gaming
Posted September 29, 2012on:
A few weeks ago I shared how I started playing Clash of Clans with my son on our iPads. I reflected on some learning opportunities then. I have a few more now that I have played the game thoroughly.
One thing I do not really like about the game is that a much stronger village of warriors can attack mine and decimate it. But this is an opportunity to analyze my defensive strategies. I have reconfigured my village several times as a result.
As my son and I shared the same experiences, this gave me an opportunity to discuss the term “underdog“. I asked him if he knew what it meant. Initially he just pictured a smaller dog under a larger dog!
Then we talked about how we were able to successfully defend against strong attacks by being smarter. My son may not have the life experience of being an underdog, but he can now relate to what it feels like to be one (perspective-taking) and how to overcome problems (strategic thinking).
Speaking of strategic thinking, the game now provides instant video replays of how someone successfully or unsuccessfully attacked my village. I can also visit someone else’s village to see how they lay things out. These process artefacts provide insights into an opponent’s strategies and give me the opportunity to reflect critically.
When someone attacks me, I can take revenge by tapping on a button. Like all other games, we learn from failed attempts to defend or attack. The failures do not demoralize and instead motivate us to do better. The element of competition and even the need to get even drive us forward.
I can also form a clan with other players. My son and I formed an exclusive clan and we provide warriors for each other so that our armies are stronger in attack or defence. We have to anticipate what the attacking or defensive needs are, build our own capacity, and request what we need from each other. Sounds like 21st century work to me!
Whether we defend or attack, we have to analyze a stronghold for weaknesses. This is an opportunity to do gap analysis. We then attempt to fill that gap or exploit it.
I could wait for life to deliver its lessons to my son, but I am not waiting. I play mobile video games with him and together we visit life lessons in a fun and non-threatening way.