Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Technology Review - Game Theory
Henry Jenkins tells us that computer games can be useful in order to make children learn easier. I'd like to mention that games have always been used to help children learn. It's why we played games of maths at school, it's why there are competitions in spelling and calculus, it's why we would go on little excusions in spring to find frogs eggs and keep them in a tank in the classroom - the value of learning through play is obvious.

The modern problem is that children's play has been colonised by commercial interests, and split from the adult tasks. The sphere of childhood and the sphere of adulthood has the wide border of ever-expanding, idolised and desirable teen-age in between them. This makes it that much harder to see the value of the skills already existing games are teaching, because we view them from our own little bubble of generationism.

We are reducing the playfullness and the pleasure of being adults, limiting our playing to the spheres where children should not be involved: competitions or sexual games prominent among those. Where's our own playful approach to nuclear physics? When we find that, I am sure the kids will be delighted to play with us!

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