Saturday, February 26, 2011

Critical Thinking and Video Games???

I would have loved any teacher that assigned a game for homework or as an in-class test. 

I’ve been involved in one form of gaming or another since I got a Nintendo and a Sega back in the eighties and computer games since I got my first computer back around 1993.  I didn’t have internet until a few years later (dial-up).  I’ve played all sorts of games but always find myself coming back to the puzzle and hidden object games.  Games that involve some level of problem solving ability or pattern recognition but that are still simple enough to complete in a short amount of time. 

Old school gamers might remember two of my favorites:  the original Quest for Glory and King’s Quest series.  Those were some awesome games.  I still think they’re neat games, even with the terrible graphics (by today’s standards).  Those type of games involved problem solving and puzzles.  You were sent on all sorts of minor quests in order to complete the main objective of the games.  Today, I play puzzle games and hidden object games for fun.  I usually download those from PopCap and BigFish Games online.  I also play games like Harvest Moon on the Wii.  I know that seems silly in some respects.  However, these games do involve the ability to figure out patterns and solve puzzles and riddles.  If they’re difficult enough, this forces the gamer to use at least a basic level of critical thinking skills.  Of course, I do love a nice “shoot’em up” game from time to time (one word-zombies).

See, games are a good thing.  I should see if I can find something to back this up. 


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  2. Hi Melissa,

    I randomly stumbled upon your blog post while searching for new research on critical thinking and gaming. Back when I was a practicing librarian, I did loads of research on the positive benefits of gaming. A colleague and I even made buttons that said "gamer librarian" to hand out at a presentation. Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy the bibliography that I compiled. It's been a few years since I updated it, but it definitely backs up the theory that "games are a good thing."

    Bibliography on Google Docs


  3. Laura,
    Thank you so much! That is a wonderful bibliography. I'll root around in some databases for those articles.

    This is such a nice gesture. I appreciate it, and I'm glad to see there's research to back up my thoughts (always a good thing).