I like video games. I like video games more if they are used for education purposes. I’m suspect, though…
Why? This is why.
I’ve researched the impact of video games as it relates to instruction and found out the following.
Video games help to maintain order in the classroom
Video games motivate students to learn content
Video games diversify from course lectures
Video games help students to achieve higher scores in examinations
Why aren’t we then developing more video games for education? Some say that we don’t develop them because building video games are too expensive. Others argue that video games increase violence and therefore can’t be used in education environments. Video games this, video games that.
Video games aren’t always expensive to design and develop. Have you try developing games with game maker or RPG maker? Designing and developing games is a reasonable endeavor. Let’s me share something with you. Back in the day, I co-developed 20 video games with kids ranging from age 8-12. It’s possible.
Video games don’t increase violence. Have you heard about the concept of catharsis? Let me define catharsis to you…
“Catharsis is the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.”
Could it be that video games help subjects to release emotion so they don’t engage in violent behaviors? Yes!
Theoretically speaking, It is quite possible indeed. Video games are cool, I say. But hey… I’m suspect.
Today is a day of celebration and relief for many of us Techno Moderators.
You see, there is hope for a more moderate world with technology. Nintendo Corporation just introduced a brand new game console that is fundamentally a blend of electronic- and paper-based video-game accessories.
Listen to Dr. A: Nintendo went low-tech with its latest Nintendo Labo Kit. Even the giant video game-maker is folding to a new trend in society — the idea that we should Techno Moderate and build toys that advance this agenda. If modern video-game accessories can be made of cardboard, then we should use less modern technology in our lives.
It is true the latest Nintendo Labo Kit isn’t the first paper accessory that the company has ever produced in its history. Back in the 1970s, Nintendo invested in low-tech gaming approaches as an attempt to gain marketshare. The difference, at least from what I can see, is that we now live in the age of the smartphone where most of us are connected to a computerized device for hours on end every day, seven days a week.
Back then, people didn’t have social media or anything that resembles what we have today in technology. Even though technological tools and devices existed in the ’70s, they were 25 years behind what we found in the first generation of the internet back in 1995. The tech tools in the ’70s were kindergarten-like when compared to what we have today.
Is Nintendo’s decision to use low technology a good idea? I think it is. Young people these days need to realize that not everything in life, including play, needs to occur online, in social media or anywhere in cyberspace. They need to understand that playing with analog toys is as fun as playing with their latest tech gadgets.
It is OK to play a cardboard piano key and actually feel what it’s like for people to play that key and hear a music note being played outside of the dimensions of a smartphone app.
I know many of you will relate to this. Some of us grew up playing with low-tech toys and such. Many people were raised on toys with little technology.
Do you remember when you used to play with a spinning top? Wasn’t it fun? It was a lot of fun for me too, I must add. It was as fun as building a Revell model car kit with actual paper, plastic and glue.
People without computer chips turned out to be OK in life, you know? How awesome! A little bit of analog playing isn’t bad for anybody. Way to go, Nintendo! You are proving again that nostalgia sells, and that companies don’t have to only develop techie products in order to make a profit in 21st century America.
The idea that kids now can make their own markers and stickers, and combine them to make their accessories in real life, is both a brilliant move made by Nintendo and also a great way to reintroduce the idea of imagination to the millennials.
This new development indirectly conveys that not everybody needs to have the ability to use the latest app in order to have fun and smile. It is OK to foster people’s imagination with paper-based products. It pays off to be a Techno Moderator! I mean, financially, I bet that Nintendo will make a billion dollars on this “new” innovation.
I am happy. One of the most technological companies in the world just decided to invest in paper technology. I must admit that this one, I wasn’t expecting.
Predicting that Nintendo would invest in cardboard would have been like believing that desktop computers would one day return to their “glory days” of the Pentium I with only 24MB of hard drive.
If we really think about it, what Nintendo has done is totally improbable. Well, they have done it, and I love it!
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info).