I’m a product of video games in the early 1980’s too. Some of those times were fond memories. But most of the time amounted to squat. I wish I would have had a healthier obsession back then. I have teen daughters that I’ve encouraged to play some of the more educational video games, but they keep gravitating towards the games that have no educational value whatsoever. Even the coordination skills you get aren’t useful for much of anything besides being a drone pilot for the Air Force.
I was hoping that educational video games and real world scenario simulators would have gotten more popularity by now. But it seems that shooters and the most unrealistic fantasy settings are far more popular. I’ve been supportive of Jane McGonigal’s gamification. But so far it seems to have only attracted people to the worst parts of video gaming culture, attention snatching, instant gratification, escaping, unrealistic expectations, and unlimited restarts.
I haven’t given up hope. I saw Ready Player One a few weeks ago and it seems to have a good message about knowing when to unplug. If getting a college degree for free is the more-likely payoff than prize or endorsement money for video game junkies, I’m all for it. I welcome any positive alternative to kids thinking that they can make a living exclusively from playing video games. Maybe the scholarship recipients will learn something useful about the real world in between gaming sessions.