Posts Tagged ‘performance’
Pixel Poppers has an interesting approach on how we might use of videogames in education. The thesis of that informally written article is that some play to perform while others play to master.
The author argues that those who play to perform (or those who play games that encourage performance) become reliant on extrinsic forms of motivation like praise. On the other hand, those who play to master are more intrinsically motivated.
Instead of arguing about this dichotomy, I’d point out that games often have the potential to promote both. Of course they are limited by how they are designed, but they can be used socially and educationally for other purposes. Let me give you two examples.
Role-playing games (RPGs) require players to go on missions or quests. But some gamers create machinima instead. My son loves the Wii LEGO series of games, but he finds some quests tough. So he enters the non-quest areas to tell stories with the characters or to experiment with their abilities. In both examples, the players leave performance mode (as defined by the article) and enter mastery mode or storytelling mode.
The outcomes and uses of games are not fixed. What educators might focus more on is how to take advantage of online games or off-the-shelf games to promote things like online collaboration and digital storytelling. Gaming experiences or phenomena can provide contexts for talking about issues or concepts in math, geography, history, etc. In other words, educators might consider using the language and culture of gamers to teach them real-world concepts.
After all, if you don’t reach them, you can’t teach them.