Spring Break – getting ready for #ReadyPlayerOne by @erniecline

If you don’t want to read: Short story – I’ve played a lot of the video games mentioned in Ready Player One – and I found links to those games: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/arcade-classics/

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As I get ready to do a video parody singing ‘Where Are You Springtime?’ (instead of Christmas) I am getting excited for the movie adaption of Ernie Clines book “Ready Player One” – and a tad surprised it took me as long as it did to discover it a year or so ago! I am aware that Spielberg will put his own twist on ‘the book’ – and many people hoping for a text-to-screen treatment will be disappointed – but the preview highlights the DeLorean and the Iron Giant – and the text is awesomely full of 80s easter eggs!

 

 

But right now it is raining. With a mix of snow. Onto the overloaded snowfield that is our yard – still – way too late in the year for our neck of the woods. Not quite cabin fever, but needing an outlet in between reading books (and writing a secret project) I decided to match the games that Ernest Cline put into his book and the ones that I recalled from my own gamified youth – I freely admit that the Apple IIe my dad brought home helped my academics (previously I had to do way to many rewrites due to ‘messiness’ – even though I won a blue ribbon at a fall fair for penmanship, it was not possible for me to duplicate it on a regular basis – but my typing was just as nice and neat as anybody elses – and that helped me (and my teachers) focus on the content rather than the neatness (and transferring the ‘legibility learning outcome’ from messiness to grammar).

 

 

So I made a page in support for my virtual assignments page – but games not necessarily as connected to the academic learning outcomes as opposed to the other ones I typically add to the list (for math, reading, spelling, ADST, etc). These games do some teaching though! My Arcade Games page is new and has some fun links while we wait for spring….and wait for #ReadyPlayerOne to be released!

 

Some of the learnings include:

 

  • that there are extra lives to be won when you are successful and going on to a more challenging area
  • that there is a reset button when things are not going as well
  • sometimes ”levelling up” just means things come at you faster and faster (kinda like life)
  • that collaboration is not the same as group work (just because you could share game cartridges did not mean everyone could play at the same time) but…
  • teamwork is necessary (need to share what you learned or else you’ll never get out of the first room in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
  • patience is necessary (gotta take turns and be nice!)
  • Multi-task or perish – be aware of the surroundings -both virtual and in real life – factors in the room you are playing in can impact your game….much like playing your game while someone is calling your name can impact your life….
  • rigor is important – and sometimes perseverance is necessary to be successful….whether your objective is just to finish the game or finish with the highest score possible King of Kong  and so many more too: https://conceptartempire.com/video-game-documentaries/
  • forward/strategic thinking is important – if you eat all the power pellets in PacMan right away…..the game becomes a tad more difficult (and if you know the patterns of the ghosts….things can be easier – especially if you discover the “rest spot”
  • believe it or not – video games are social….even though there can be hours ‘alone in the basement’ – thats not always the full story. Gamers share strategies (thats how the first easter egg in Adventure was learned about – not a well kept secret….if you know who to talk to) and games in this millennium are even more social – with ‘playthroughs’ able to be found on youtube to help people through difficult sections (and darn near impossible ones on Mario Maker!)
  • creative thinking and mental work – there is no ‘one’ way to solve or finish a game – and sometimes ‘mindlessly’ going through a familiar game can help the brain do some ‘other thinking’ in the background (that multi-tasking mentioned earlier) and sometimes playing video games is indeed a mental workout!
  • Risk Taking is needed – knowing that when you face a Boss (or Mike Tyson at the end of Punch-Up) that defeat is far more likely than victory ….and until recently,  very rarely was there an option to ‘save’ where you are and restart at that point

 

Its not just me – others are sharing skills you can learn by embracing the video game world….https://www.gamesradar.com/10-useful-skills-you-can-learn-playing-video-games/

 

Video Games can be part of a school experience. And I’ll support the ‘no shooting games involving guns’ rule in the computer lab….because there are many more games out there that push the brain and even encourage rigor…..and goal setting (my son hopes to finish new games within 48 hours – depending on how big the game playing universe is – like the latest Zelda game…..very different from the first one! Because that’s the other lesson we should learn – games improve and get better over the years….so should classrooms and teachings….don’t get stuck on ‘level one’ – look for ways to Level UP!!

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About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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