The Video Game Debate: Bad for Behavior, Good for Learning, Canadian Council on Learning , November 18, 2009
The Journal Articles presented by the Candian Council on Learning revisits the topic of whether or not video games are good or bad for students nine years after first looking at the issue in 2001. The group says that technology continues to evolve quickly and that a clear-cut answer eludes researchers but that appropriate use of recreational and educational games are starting to be recognized as facilitating the development of important skills. The group goes on to identify the accelerating upward trend in the amount of time that children have been spending with games in the recent several years and how the violent games support anti-social behaviors and how educational games can help teach important skills.
This journal article is useful because it preserves the developmental lineage and history of research on the topic of video games in the context of education. Having a frame of reference and markers that identify what was state of the art in 2001 versus what is the current state of the art is very important for contemporary researchers.
This journal article is fairly old, (2009) but still useful. It’s age is particular evident in its reference to once popular video games such as “The Sims”, “Sim City”, “World of WarCraft”, “Civilization”, and “Rome Total War” as holding value for teachers and students interested in applying educational gaming content to the the learning experience. The ongoing value instead comes from the identification of design tenets that have an enduring value such as: “learners cannot focus on both text and graphics at the same time but are routinely called upon to do so by poorly designed e-learning programs”. This continues to happen in contemporary Learning Management Systems used in business settings where text and graphics are routinely presented simultaneously to employees.