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What roles does video games play in developing problem solving skills in students k-12 grades - Research Paper Example

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Video games are hugely popular the world over, nowadays. According to the Entertainment Software Association, video gaming has overtaken the music industry and is today a $ 10 billion business opportunity…
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What roles does video games play in developing problem solving skills in students k-12 grades
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Download file to see previous pages Video gaming has successfully cut across gender barriers and, surprisingly, almost 40% of all gamers, are female. In as much as two-thirds of all US households play video games, nearly 25% of all gamers are under the 18 years age bracket. Over the last ten years, children have exhibited a substantial increase in amount of time spent on video gaming (Rideout, Foehr and Roberts, 2010). From an average of 26 minutes in 1999, a child spent about an hour and thirteen minutes in 2009, on video gaming. Against the backdrop of such overwhelming popularity, this activity which seduces children and adults alike, present a host of benefits. Paradoxically, anti-gaming activists, too, make up a sizeable number and with good reason, as well. Introduction Video gaming as an educational pedagogy and a learning mode opens up a world of possibilities. A judicious marriage of caution and openness, supplemented by appropriate investments by way of time and effort, would prove to be ideal. Drawing pointers from issues such as gaming collaboration, single player games and usage of video gaming as an academic pedagogy, this paper attempts to prove that video games do not enrich the problem solving skills of K-12 students. The issue of why kids play video games and what they learn from this addictive activity has been a source of constant debate and dispute, among parents, teachers, VIDEO GAMES DO NOT ENRICH PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS researchers as well as the students. (Olthouse, 2009) proposes video gaming as a new, diverse and a growing phenomenon. While the fun element is what essentially draws kids to video games, it can be viewed against the backdrop of a host of perspectives such as gaming as a play, reinforcement, social interaction, fantasy as well as a cognitive exercise. While younger children sought immediate positive responses through the gaming exercise, mature children in the age group 14 to 18 years, exhibited good emotional value, sought stimulus and took risks in an action-packed genre. However, in many a case, video games offered a high dose of motivational power and requited large investment in terms of time and money. These proved to be heavy put offs for children. On a positive note, video games promoted meta cognition, computer and perceptual skills. On the downside, these games proved to be highly addictive, costly and heightened aggression. It also discouraged imagination and wonderment among the players. Another negative outcome was Stereotypical gender representations. Collaboration The advent of multi-player and on line games invited gamers to an interactive, participative and collaborative genre of video games Collaboration (Meij, Albers & Leemkuil, 2011) is an attempt to make an individual play, commercial off the shelf games, in pairs, rather than in a solitary mode. This strategy aims at benefitting from the resultant synergy as also to promote social interaction. Though the players reportedly benefitted a great deal from the opportunity to discuss and analyse the test VIDEO GAMES DO NOT ENRICH PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS scores, surprisingly, collaboration did not exhibit any positive affect on gaming engagement and individual knowledge scores, presumably, because the game dialogues were concentrated on superficial gaming features such as game movements. Single player games The attractiveness of single player games is still hard to beat. Citing three examples of the best video games ever, namely, Roller Coaster Tycoon, The Sims and Grand Theft Auto III (Prensky, 2002), a comprehensive analysis elucidates through the 5 Ws - how, why, what, where and when/whether - the need for welcoming video games into the learning domain. Both the positive and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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