Electronic games are one of the favorite leisure activities among people of all ages and social classes, thus electronic games deserve our reflection as an important cultural phenomenon. The question now for educational leaders and school administrators is how this technology could be inserted in the classroom.
Whenever we discuss electronic games, as with all new technologies, social issues are raised. People wonder whether they are beneficial or harmful to its users, in particular, parents and many educators discuss the harm that games possibly F95zone can bring to the social and cognitive development of children and youth. Therefore, there is surprise when someone suggests that leisure electronic games could be introduced as part of the core-school curriculum. One reason for this is that you will encounter many teachers in schools that use serious games (or educational games) in their pedagogical practice, but that they are skeptical about the educational possibilities of leisure games.
The criticisms, which are repeated since the emergence of computer games in the 50s, are summarized by Nicky Hayes in Psychology: “games are based on violent concepts; children spent a lot of time playing games, and this could bring damage to their physical health; and games are harmful in terms of children future learning” (p. 223). In other words, many people believe that leisure electronic games promote violent behavior and isolation, and finally they do not have educational value. We believe that these concerns are not justified, especially if we take into account the developments of the games.
Electronic games are a new cultural form, if compared with the TV, pop music or the movies – the other main manifestations of popular culture.
Nowadays, not only the games have evolved as the proper way to play evolved. And this was possible because of the interaction between the new digital technologies and the internet. For instance, players can embrace games on their smartphones and tablets. Besides that, the new video games consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which will be launched towards the end of the current year, bring a new element: the online multiplayer, which seems to be a new trend on video gaming industry. This new element enables the players to play simultaneously online in fictional worlds.
Remember that the game Spacewar!, a game launched in 1961, was the first one to allow multiple users to share the computer simultaneously. The games today embrace more ways of interactivity; this means that players do not need to play only offline alone or with friends: players can interact with other players online. Certainly, games per se do not isolate individuals. Some individuals choose to isolate themselves, while for others the circumstances of life – the politics of leisure on the area where they live and public security concerns – exert a strong influence on their behavior.
Many people still believe that playing games is a habit that produces no significant long-term impact – other than becoming a more skillful gamer. But recent studies show that the playing games can stimulate learning of facts and skills. For example, the European report written in 2008 on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games points out the following skills: strategic thinking, creativity, cooperation, and innovative thinking. Accordingly, electronic games are a positive contribution to learning. Thus we see that the last two concerns listed by Hayes can also be considered superseded.