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June 22, 2014

Gaming Devices and Influence on Educational Training

Gaming devices and influence on educational training
The field of computer gaming has risen to near equal status with the film and music industries in terms of revenue, customers, and employees (Castells, 2001). The use of video games and devices for training and education purposes is not completely a novel idea even if this is in its budding stage. Many studies have been conducted on using video games for training purpose but there are only a handful studies that reveal accurate results on what is presently being used today.
Gaming is a relatively a new phenomenon and any new phenomenon raise concerns.  Researchers agree on this point that we do not have enough perspective on the phenomenon to be able to analyze it objectively. Further investigations on this subject are therefore needed. On the other hand, as we shall see, there are very different types of games and a generalization would be simplistic to say the least.
Ultimately, should not we pay more attention to the media itself and its potential rather than its content? There was indeed much less interested in the relationship between video games and skill development within the player.
In recent years, one begins to consider another dimension of the phenomenon: the relationship between video games and cognitive psychology, learning, sociology and its influence on training and educational purpose.  Many cultural studies focus on how video games affect the joint performances that will build or integrate the children and teenagers, but this time without excessive paranoia, and based on semiotics.
On the other hand, it is expected that consideration of the ability of video games to motivate, placing learners in situations close to reality and to create situations of collaboration can lead to the design of educational products that really work.
But a change of perspective is needed if we are to find ways to use video games for education. It does not give the child or young person's sense of "learn by playing" by giving learning interfaces with a conventional air of fun, as is the case most of time, but rather could be situations in which the intended learning becomes the means by which it will be possible to enter and advance in the game for a generation in high technology, interactivity, control and involvement in the task. In this respect, educational games could gain status and become a niche technology. 
To release the educational potential of video games and provide the means to develop effective learning systems, it seems to be the right time to ask questions about the reasons for the popularity of young (and old) for video games, and try to understand what it means to them and why so many of them spend most of their leisure time.
The Department of Education Columbia moreover, well aware of the stakes of this phenomenon by asking, in October 1999, the giants of the game are that Sega and Nintendo, to cooperate with companies from educational games to make sure to bring the Gaming in the classroom while tailoring its content to the curriculum. This has not been without some resistance from both sides because it is sure to profoundly change the way of getting to school, to completely rethink the relationship between teacher and learner.
The college classes are often very heterogeneous - at least in United States - it is often difficult for teachers to transmit the same knowledge to thirty students at the same time, in the form of lectures.
The idea to establish courses in which everyone would have a task to perform based on its level is a major impediment. In most cases, the best students get bored and end up losing the interest they initially may have felt for some subjects and the weakest do not come more to follow. Some software programs and could help remedy this problem partially by allowing the teacher to better organize differentiated instruction. It could indeed be effective in motivating students' failure to use what they love doing - playing - and build programs that foster their interest and desire to learn. Or, conversely, one could imagine devices that allow the best students do not get bored and deepen the knowledge they already have in some areas while allowing the teacher to devote more time and attention to the weakest among them. 
These considerations are certainly not new, and problems related to the introduction of computers in classrooms have already been the subject of much debate and dashed hopes.
The game as a tool or learning strategy has long been regarded with ambivalence among professionals and educational theorists: if the game is very much in elementary school, it raises a lot less interest, and even some distrust, college and high school. However, recent technological advances offer so many possibilities and opportunities for designers of educational products that appear to the eye as it focuses on educational games is bound to change drastically. Because we must not forget to take into account two important parameters: the video game industry is still young and is also extremely dynamic. So the game's potential that we must consider not only its relevance.
Video gaming and devices is a mass phenomenon that fascinates children and adolescents. Able to project into a world of challenges that we control many parameters but many surprises is particularly challenging and it seems important to try to understand how children play and stimulate themselves to achieve their purposes in their dialogue with the machine.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has accentuated the importance of restructuring the whole process of training. As described in the DOD Training Transformation Implementation Plan (Department of Defense, 2004) The remarkable change of America’s strategic environment continues its momentous influence on the military forces and its demand for a similar dramatic transformation in how the forces are prepared for combat and noncombat operations …we need to transform the way we train. (p.2)

The DOD has identified the need for new warfare skills in challenging and rapidly developing missions (United States Joint Forces Command, 2002).
Net-centric warfare, an emerging theory of war, involves a cultural change in virtual relationships involving many individuals and teams (Raduege, 2004). Power is increased from information, access, and speed, all characteristics of multiplayer games. As military operations develop into more integrated and networked activity, the significance of planning, decision making, and collaboration skills automatically becomes self-evident.

In order to enhance effectiveness, there is also an increased focus on sharing information between military planners and operators (United States Joint Forces Command, 2002).

To be able, in a learning perspective to distinguish "good" play a mediocre game and discern between the different possibilities of "payback" games for education, it is important to ask what east, just a video game. In this perspective, it seems necessary to refer to an interpretive framework. Research in this area is still at an early stage and the results cannot be gleaned in an objective light. One can also question the methods of analysis of media

Indeed, if one attempts to study the narrative structure of some games (video games like interactive fiction and role-playing; for example), one quickly realizes that it is impossible to interpret the same way as a traditional fiction. Although found in the development of many video games the same steps as in the written narrative, namely an initial situation, a disturbing element, adventures, a resolution and a final situation (narrative schema developed by Greimas, 1970 ), the function of controlling the narrative and the narrator's status are not identical. The narrator is no longer all-powerful as the written account and the player is actively involved in the plot. One can draw parallels here with improvisational theater asking the public participation without which this branch of art would no longer be needed. In the words of Henry Jenkins (1995), an American researcher, we cannot use the theories of textual narrative to interpret the video game, just because it is an interactive game in which the main character exists only by the potential of potential invested in it.

There is no game without interaction because the game involves active participation from the player. Interactivity is a buzzword and it is employed indiscriminately. As we have seen, Brenda Laurel (1991) uses the metaphor of theater to describe and explain what interactivity. For her, the interactivity does not work the same way for all programs, and what is interesting in the computer is its ability to represent actions in which people can participate.(Gosnev,2005)
In most cases, interactivity is viewed as the exchange in both directions between humans and machines. It may be of varying intensity and cannot take place in a space for exchanges and meetings in multiple directions.
Interactivity therefore offers the "interaction" the opportunity for feedback on a program at the same time, becomes a statement "not closed" and co-driven built his own (this, of course, within limits imposed by the designer). Indeed, when it comes to representing reality, some media are static, such as sculpture or painting. Others, such as movies, music, dance, are dynamic as they represent the changing aspect of reality. But if it is to represent how things change, the network of cause and effect that binds them together, we can speak of interaction because it presupposes on the part of the "spectator" active exploration of represented the universe in which it will generate the causes for the observed effects. Video games provide this interactive element and are a key to their success.
An educational perspective, it seems important to distinguish between two forms of interactivity as a danger is the tendency to believe that interactivity is the single source of learning. Indeed, as said we must not confuse "mechanic interactivity with mental interactivity.

Flew, Terry and Humphreys, Sal (2005) "Games: Technology, Industry, Culture" Oxford University Press

Shapiro, A, 1999, ‘Masters of Our Own Domains: Personalization of Experience’ in ‘The Control Revolution’, Public Affairs, New York, p. 44-51.


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