Gaming intro. Let's begin with some overview information. First, we turn to MediaWise for a quick overview of gaming and kids. You will need to go to the link below and download the guide called "MediaWise Guide to Online Gaming." You can also download a guide to video game addiction.
Gaming defined. A good place to begin is with Wikipedia. They also provide a substantial list of game links if you are interested:
The Educational Gaming Commons.
Gaming ratings. Like movies, games are rated. According to the PBS site about this topic, "The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide information about video and computer game content so parents can make informed purchasing decisions." Go to the link below to read about the details of video game ratings:
Gaming and kids inspires strong feelings. Here are a few sources that cast it in a positive light:
- Professor James Paul Gee shows the world the importance of video games. Professor Gee writes a good deal on this topic. This article appears on the website "The Game Zone," thus we can assume a positive bias toward gaming.
- Scientists recommend educational gaming. Download the PDF file and scan it. This is accessible through the site maintained by Joystiq, a pro-gaming site. Yet the report does contain a good deal of input from scientists.
- Parents Growing Fear of Video Games, from the Redherring blog.
- David Perry (maker of Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah, and game adaptations of films such as Terminator) – a Ted Talk. This is most interesting, because David seems to be very positive about gaming, but presents a video art/philosophy piece in the middle of it that is very articulate about video game addiction.
- ParentsTV, a public advocacy group concerned about the role of video games and other media in the lives of children. Their bias is clearly a concern with gaming's downside.
- William Wright (maker of Spore) – a Ted Talk.
Finding good, free games online turned out to be harder than I thought. Most of the games I found were very low level, or were simulations. But I pass on these links to you for your edification:
- Teacher Vision: Online Language Arts Games
- Educational Freeware - free educational games
- Eduplace - free educational simulations
- Shambles.net - lots of games, simulations
- TechTrekers- lots of simulations
Future of gaming?
David Perry says it will be away from single player games and toward more social, multi-player, web-based games: