Drawing on your own experience, discuss the role of games in general in teaching children and adults about functioning in society and creating, modifying and maintaining relationships with each other, are there differences in online and face to face gaming, in this respect?
Games can be instrumental in the socialisation of children, teaching them how to work as an individual or a team, and that it’s ok to win and lose in a variety of contexts. These skills greatly assist children (and adults) to function in society, as they can learn how to enhance their reasoning and problem-solving, which are highly useful when creating, maintaining and nurturing relationships with others.
I would imagine that differences would be evident when comparing online and face-to-face gaming in this respect, as another persona can be more easily adopted in the online environment, lending itself more readily to a world of fantasy, depending on the game. Face-to-face games places the player in real situations, where the art of human interaction and communication skills would need to be more readily available and utilised.
What games do you play and what part do they play in your life?
Games play a small part of my life at present. Rather than playing them, I read a lot about them and how they can be used in educational / e-learning contexts. When I do have time to play (which is rare), I will play something like Bejewelled to let my brain switch to a different frame of mind. My work and study require me to always be thinking in a variety of academically oriented ways, so having a time-out with a repetitive, relatively simple game like Bejewelled is appreciated on occasion.
Games used to play a larger part of my life when I was younger – I was from the Commodore64, Sega, PS1, N64 generation. I spent many more hours playing with friends or solo in my spare time. I tried to refine my fine motor skills and strafe my avatars in death matches, look up cheats and cracks for a variety of games in order to conquer them.
What type of game player would you classify yourself, an enthusiast, casual or occasional gamer?
I used to be an enthusiast, now I’m an occasional player. I recently took a survey at work which asked the question “What type of gamer are you?” My result was “Explorer” – apparently, I like to take the time to familiarise myself with the virtual world I am in, finding ways and methods to successfully navigate through it. My male colleague of the same age was a “KIller”, wanting to kill first, ask questions later. The thrill of the chase was what he enjoyed according to the survey results. I guess it’s the classic case of hunter/gatherer there… perhaps it differs with younger generations?
If you don’t play games nowadays, discuss your personal experience of games in general; the games you played as a child on the street, in your home. Include all sorts of games, e.g. board games, tic tac toe, hopscotch, sport.
My mother was teacher and encouraged educational games of all kinds to help with my cognitive development as I was growing up. I played a zillion word games like Scrabble and Boggle, card games like Uno, Memory and Canasta, board games like Chess, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, and other games of skill like Connect Four, Pick-up Stix and Mastermind. As for physical/outdoor games, I used to play hopscotch, elastics, basketball, tennis – but, I grew to hate sports, having teachers who would associate outdoor sports games with punishment rather than pleasure.