Video Games for Education, Excercise and Team Cohesion

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  • Topic: Video game, Video game genres, Wii
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  • Published : April 19, 2013
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Video Games for Education, Exercise, and Team Cohesion
Acacia Jackson
University of Advancing Technology

Abstract
Video games hold so much more potential than as sedentary entertainment for players. A handful of benefits can be garnered from video games including education, exercising, and team cohesion. These benefits can be used by individual players or schools, athletic teams, gyms and clubs. The theory for Games for Activating Thematic Engagement or GATE theory encourages games that foster metacognition and awareness and serves as an excellent paradigm for video educational video games to emulate. There are studies that support that educational video games can be just as effective as traditional teaching methods and in some cases even more effective. Recently video games have been incorporating full body motion into their controls into gameplay. These mechanics have been incorporated most successfully in the Wii and Dance Dance Revolution. These games produce the same effects as exercise while keeping the player engaged, they even have been used to help curb obesity. Sports video games can also be used to teach the finer aspects of the selected sport. Multiplayer video games encourage team cohesion by piquing interest in the group task and integration with the gameplay. While fostering communication with online chat that can be used to strategize. As a whole the team multiplayer experience can be used as a team-building exercise for any type of group.

Pew –pew –pew. A classic video game shooter makes that sound when it is taking out the baddies. Video games are a virtual experience where the player suspends his or her reality for a few hours of entertainment, whether it is a first person shooter, roleplaying or puzzle game. Additionally, video games influence more than just the parts of minds that register fun, and have applications that reach farther than just mere entertainment. Studies have been conducted that measure the behavioral and emotional implications of video games. Also, video games have become a potential source of education and physical health training. There are many concrete uses of videogames outside entertainment that are worth exploring by schools, athletic teams, gyms and clubs, including education, exercise, and team cohesion. Many definitions for a game exist, but it is implied that a game has a set of rules and an objective that must be reached. According to Watson’s (2007) dissertation there are several definitions for a video game. One includes up to six factors. As stated before they include rules and objectives but the source highlights that there needs to be outcomes and feedback, some kind competition or challenge, interaction between the game and player, and representation or story. However, a story may not be necessary, after all Tetris is a popular game without the need of a plot. Another definition has gameplay being “a system of in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules that results in a quantifiable outcome” this seems to be a more concise definition without getting involved in any kind of specific type of game. There are many kinds of genres that elude a good definition of a game. Simulations are a genre of game that may cease being a game in some definitions. The definition of a simulation is “a procedural representation of aspects of reality.” (Watson, 2007) Simulations are like the more practical side of video games that people have used to teach players real-world skills, such as flight and war simulators for the military. Educational video games are not limited to an exact genre but they do deserve a common grouping as they have the common goal of imparting knowledge to the player. Watson’s research centers on a theory for designing effective video games of an educational nature. This theory is Games for Activating Thematic Engagement or GATE for short. GATE has a list of eight characteristics for an enjoyable video game. (Watson, 2007)...
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