Mind Games - The Power of Video Gaming

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Mind Games

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This film incorporates interviews with retro gamers and experts in psychology, linguistics and education, to explore the advantages and disadvantages of video gaming. The result is a surprisingly entertaining, touching and informative look at how gaming has impacted lives and can have a revolutionary, positive impact on education.

Two of the foremost thinkers in the study of video gaming share their insights in a way which appeals to both the general public and professionals in psychology, education, linguistics, and sociology. Professor James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literary Studies at Arizona State University and Dr. Brad Bushman, Professor of Communications and Psychology and Chair of Mass Communication at The Ohio State University, explain the latest findings on the connections between violence and video games as well as the many positive influences video games can have on learning. Dr. Brad Bushman was awarded an Ig Nobel award in psychology in 2013 for his work about attractiveness of drunk people. In 2014 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology and Technology award from the American Psychological Association.

Professor Gee explains how "good" video games in any genre, including violent video games, can be examples of active, deep learning at almost any age. He suggests that learning through video gaming is: self-motivating, differentiated--monitored and guided individually, continually assessed for levels and progress, developing critical thinking skills, contextual, experiential and deep.

Professor Bushman explains his research and how playing violent video games did change the behavior of the players for periods of time after they played. He discusses violent video games' impact on human empathy and discusses best practices for parents to follow to minimize any negative impact that games could have.

How Video Gaming Could Improve Learning: Professor Gee discusses how schools and classrooms should be organized for collaboration and project based learning. He advises parents and education districts that textbooks are only one limited source of learning and that a well-educated child should be exposed to a variety of resources in multimedia. The power of self-monitoring through video games is the beginning of building independent learners who take responsibility for monitoring and assessing their own learning through self-motivation.