Can video games span generation gaps?
For some, videos games are a “vast wasteland” where kids and teenagers rot away countless hours of precious childhood time. But should we do away with video games altogether? Or can video games be structured in a way to encourage learning, particularly with guardian involvement?
These are the questions that Alan Gershenfeld, co-director for the Center for Games and Impact at ASU, and Micheal Levine, executive director for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, ask in their Future Tense article, appearing on Slate, titled “Can Videos Games Unite Generations in Learning?”
Gershenfeld and Levine state that similar concerns about video games were raised about television 50 years ago. However, nowadays, opportunities for enriched learning via television can easily be found, namely on Sesame Street, which encourages guardian co-viewing. Gershenfeld and Levine draw on examples of well-designed, intergenerational games that are proven to positively affect children’s engagement and learning. Additionally, some studies show adults are learning technology skills from their kids.
Their article is featured in conjunction with a live Future Tense event, “Getting Schooled by a Third Grader: What Kids’ Gaming, Tweeting, Streaming and Sharing Tells us About the Future of Elementary Education," taking place Aug. 9 in Washington, D.C., which will webcast live on ASUtv at 9 a.m. MST.
The ASU Center for Games and Impact, a unit under the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, brings together researchers, developers and entrepreneurs to design computer and video games that utilize the full potential to impact society’s larger social, educational and health challenges.
Future Tense is the citizen’s guide to the feature. A collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation, and Slate, Future Tense explores emerging technologies and events on culture, society and policy.