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Finding Education And Fun In Video Games

Parents, students, teachers, and researchers continue to discover ways that video games increase interest and participation in learning.

By
Cheryl Butler,
August 30, 2008
Episode #079

Page 3 of 3

Racing games provide the exciting experience of high-speed racing in the safety of a virtual environment. Players must choose the right cars, develop quick eye-hand coordination, complete timed activities and use map data, if they want to win the race.

Role-playing games are usually science fiction or fantasy themed. Play is based on exploration and the completion of quests. Role-playing games require reading directions, inventory, and maps. There may be elements of fighting, but in many instances the player must decide whether fighting or avoiding the fight is the best choice. Online versions of role-playing games include the extremely popular World of Warcraft and long-running EverQuest series. Online game play offers the chance to create and play as a family clan, regardless of where family members are physically located. Families may play together long after kids are grown and have children of their own.

The simulation and strategy games range from building historical vehicles, flying a single prop plane, or a jumbo jet, to creating the history of new worlds or replaying the history of our own. These games allow us to experiment and discover how things work, or don’t work as we set goals and work to achieve them. Video game simulations and strategy games involve many of the same skills used in today’s science exploration.

The last category of entertainment games that provide opportunities to learn or practice real life skills is the world-building group of games. These include the Civilization series, SimCity 3000, Black and White, and The Sims. World-building video games cover a wide range of game styles. The player must control either a character or an environment to encourage growth and progress. The game’s goal may be open-ended. The fun is often in changing the virtual world around you. Combat is rare in these types of games.

It is important with all video games to know what your child is playing. Please be sure to check the Entertainment Software Rating Board or ESRB rating for each game or even better, review the games before giving your children access to them.

The video game industry offers a wide variety of player choices. Whether you are new to video games or a long time gamer, you are sure to find something fun and educational to share with your kids.

Thank you to Jayel Gibson for guest writing this episode of the Mighty Mommy. In addition to a full-time writing career, Ms. Gibson serves as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Oregon Community College where she teaches writing for publication. She is a two time Teacher of the Year award recipient for her innovative use of technology and video gaming in the classroom. Ms. Gibson is also the online book club moderator for Realms of Fantasy Magazine. She has been a contributor for Louisiana Parent’s Magazine, Dallas Child Magazine, Education.com and Thefatherlife.com. You can visit www.ancientmirrors.com or www.jayelgibson.com for more information on Jayel Gibson and her award winning Ancient Mirrors fantasy series.

That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Thank you for listening.

Be sure to check out the two new shows we’ve just launched on the Quick and Dirty Tips Network. You can find The Nutrition Diva and The Public Speaker by visiting www.quickanddirtytips.com where you will also be able to view the transcript for this show.

If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com

This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

Video Games image courtesy of Shutterstock

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