Recently, I’ve been reading Don’t Bother Me Mom, I’m Learning by Marc Prensky. It’s been eye opening. Obviously I recognize the importance and value of games and computers to learning. My kids love Starfall, Seasame Workshop, and NickJr. But GeekBoy is quickly outgrowing the games on those sites. He still loves to play around there occasionally, but it’s really below his skill level. So what’s a momma to do?
I called my little sister Nani. Nani loves games. She had a few lying around that she wasn’t using anymore, so she sent GeekBoy a box with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, and some others that he is wholly uninterested in at the moment. Lately he’s been learning about Park Management, Finances, Customer Service, and Personnel Management. All things that will help him in the business world.
But the Tycoon series isn’t the only set of fun, yet educational games. Try Civilization III, or World of Warcraft (learn to manage a guild, and co operate with others), even Grand Theft Auto (a lesson in what NOT to do). Just about any computer or video game out has educational merit. You just have to look for it.
Even seemingly mindless games like Zuma can be learning tools. Critical thinking and split second decisions are needed to win at Zuma. Both are skills needed to survive in the business world and in life. So the hour or so spent playing Zuma was really life lessons in decision making. Interesting.
I’m telling you. Read the book. It will so change your thinking about video/computer games.