Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Different Types of Games

There are four categories of games that I will explore in this blog:
  •  Action Games
Action games are fast paced, can be violent, and it takes a particular set of finger dexterity to play.  Watching students play these kind of games - I have found that the students (especially boys) will play these types of games over and over again without losing engagement so that they become adept.  Considering how bored some students get during some of the educational games it is interesting to see how focused the become with an action video game.

Personally, I do not enjoy these games mainly because I am not that accomplished nor was I ever.

I remember playing asteroids when I was a kid.  I tend to be considered smart but would get frustrated by these games easily.  It still happens at age 50.  I played asteroids last night and again this morning.  I got better but kept looking at the time to see if I had completed the amount I had allotted to that game. The- first few times playing, it was difficult to figure out what direction I was going as my hands and mind were not in sync; as I practiced that got better.  A mistake made me realize the little spaceship could move.  That made the game even harder at times until I practiced it.  It still made the game hard. I was very happy that I made the incredible score of 5,450- I think that is a lifetime high for me.

I also played Pac-Man again.  It was not a pleasant experience.  Again, it took me numerous times to learn how to handle the arrow keys effectively.  My highest score was 4,940-woo hoo! Finally I tried Raft Wars and Mission Command on freearcade.com.  I liked Raft Wars but I would not call that an action game - it is just an I shoot then you shoot game.  The slower pace made me more comfortable.  Once I got the hang of Mission Command, I enjoyed that too.  I kept dying but it was fun to actually hit the targets (enemy fighters).  This game was faster than Raft Wars but slower than Pac-Man and Asteroids.

Actually, I am realizing that once I felt comfortable with the controls all the games slowed down for me- my heart rate did not go up and I felt I had more time to point at at target and shoot.  As I write, I am trying to envision how action games can be incorporated into the classroom and teach a learning outcome.  The idea of practice to get better at something is a subject, so is doing better when comfortable with a skill.  These are good life lessons but how would one use a car chase, enemy fighting, space alien kind of theme to teach math or reading skills?  Let me go shoot some enemy commandos while I think about that....
  • Narrative Games
  • Simulation Games
  • Other Games
Stay tuned for reflection on these.