Stars and Avatars

1009 Words Sep 14th, 2013 5 Pages
Stars and Avatars
Are video games useful? Do they serve any type of larger purpose other than providing entertainment through a screen? These are complex and multifaceted questions that require complex and multifaceted answers. Prior to answering these questions, I believe it is important for recognize that each gaming experience is different. There are many different types of games, people have different types of reactions to each game specifically, and there are different ways to play games. Just looking at the physical aspect of gaming, there are different consoles, controllers, viewing options, amounts of players that can play certain games, etc. My point here is gaming is a category of entertainment that, unlike watching a movie
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A study done at Stanford in 1997 found that the games were extremely effective. Brown et. al (1997) found that diabetic children who played the “Packy and Marlon” game were four times less likely (77% decrease) to require urgent health care visits than those who played a different game. The conclusions here suggest that well-designed video games can be highly appealing and motivating learning environments for players. In these virtual worlds, players have access to unlimited opportunities to rehearse skills, experience social support (between peers who also played the game as well as the game characters themselves), actively obtain and use information, and receive immediate feedback on their performance. Essentially it is a virtual world that allows for cognitive social learning to occur. Lieberman (2001) found that children who played “Bronkie” experienced a gain in asthma related self-efficacy, while those who watched a 30 minute video tape about asthma self care experienced a decrease in self-efficacy. The researchers believed this difference in self-efficacy scores may have occurred because while the video tape presented a lot of “how-to” information, it did not offer any opportunity for the children to practice using those skills. Experience is a crucial component of self efficacy because it allows for self-reflection, rehearsal, and with success it

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