Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life, With (Optional) Video Games

It's so hot I've largely ceded the computer to my children for gaming, but that and the fact that we should have the Wii hooked up in another month* have me thinking quite a bit about computer games: my own past with them, what my children think of them, and how they'll fit in our homeschooling household.

(*The target date for finishing the den and installing a TV is the Republican primary.  My husband wants to see just how much they think they can get away with up close.)

I loved computer games in the 1970s and 1980s but my coordination is lousy, and it was even worse as a teenager.  I could handle the "shoot" button, although I'd never be a high scorer.  Then Nintendo invented the "jump" button, and I washed out of arcade-style games.

That left PC puzzle games which I preferred, up to a point.  The entire trajectory of my life as a abuse survivor had been about realizing I don't have to do what other people want me to do.  It's served me well in general, but not in puzzle gaming.  I'd get stuck in a game and think, "Why am I expending all this energy pleasing someone who isn't even here?  This is not who I am.  This is not what I do."  At that point it was easy to walk away.  I still liked the concept of computer games though, and I got excited over the developments of RPGs and motion controls.

Our children have no such hangups, and enjoy playing PC games.  When we moved into a bigger house and prepared to get an up-to-date TV it only made sense to pick up a Wii.  Now I'm wondering how I can incorporate this console into our homeschool.

Turns our other people are wondering the same thing.  New Mexico University has an entire department researching how to integrate games in education, especially exercise games.  They summarized their findings in a video, the presentation drags but it has some useful ideas.

And since schoolteachers put everything online, it didn't take long to find free exergame lesson plans.

Indoor exercising in the only way to go in this heat, that's for sure.  And it might be a good idea to keep a dance game pulled up for between-lesson breaks to help "get the sillies out."

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