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Learning From The Virtual World Essay

1882 words - 8 pages

The entertainment industry includes massive industries such as music or movies. Yet, the video game industry is growing every year and eventually will become the biggest component of the entertainment industry. Proof of this is the blockbuster movie Spider-Man 3 grossed $151 million for its opening weekend, but sales of Xbox 360's Halo 3 took in $170 million on the first day (McDougall, 2007). Video games are not only for entertainment purposes only; they also serve as a means for therapy for children. For instance, to help strengthen the hand, victims of upper-limb burning played video games (Griffiths, 2006). This is an ingenious way for a patient to rehab and also ease the pain as the patient's attention is on the video game. If a video game can be a form of rehabilitation, what else can a video game offer? James Paul Gee (2003, p. 1) points out that video games "incorporates a whole set of fundamentally sound learning principles." In video games one can benefit from team situations, learn skills to problem solve obstacles inside the game and apply it outside, use it as means of training such as in the military, and even get fit with video games. Video games are useful resources, and one should start taking advantage of the things they have to offer.Team situations in video games can immensely help one with learning to communicate and work as a team. For instance, one may need assistance with defending the base in an online game of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. One needs to communicate this event to their teammates through Xbox Live whether it is instant messaging or speaking into a headset, or eventually the opposing team will enter the base and capture the territory. This example shows that the need forcommunication is vital for a team to succeed to win, as if one does not communicate, the opposing team will invade the base, allowing them to capture the territory and thus be victorious. Playing in a group leads to communication as mostly every individual's mission when playing a video game is to win or accomplish a goal, and communicating helps accomplish this mission. There may be however obstacles in the game which prevent a player accomplishing a mission, leaving a player to problem solve.One of the best video game franchises, The Legend of ¬Zelda, includes many puzzle type situations and without completing them, a player will not be able to advance in the game. For example, in the game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, many of the "Bamboozling solutions to opening locked doors and reaching chests in seemingly impossible locations boil down to a mixture of skill, luck, experimentation and a keen eye for subtle environmental details." (Macarthy, 2007). To advance through the game, a player must solve these instances, thus gaining problem solving skills. A player then can use these acquired skills outside of the game such as word problems.Another example is from James Paul Gee, an expert in game studies. Gee expresses his appeal...

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