A professional gamer’s view on gaming

This is a pretty good article I saw posted on CNN yesterday. It walks through the life of a teenage professional gamer in South Korea and highlights his desire to win, his obsession, and how he finds time to dedicate to playing games at a professional level.

So what is professional gaming? Well for those that do not know there is a Major League of Gaming (MLG). They host tournaments across the world for several of the most popular games where players compete for cash prizes.

The interesting thing about professional gaming is that not many people outside the gaming world know about it. For instance, this kid in the article posted above is making over 100k a year. The other kid they mention, who is one level above the kid is making 250k a year. Not bad salaries for a teenager in South Korea. On top of cash prizes at contests these kids become famous in the game world. They get real sponsors, sign autographs, etc. Just like a movie star or athlete.

Anyway, that my blurb on professional gaming for today. Check out the article I posted above its a decent read for those who do not know much about the topic.

A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games

A very good article in Computers and Education which analyzes the empirical evidence from the gaming and learning literature:

Connolly, T., M., Boyle, E., A., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., & Boyle, J., M. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers and Education, 59(2), 661-686

Abstract

This paper examines the literature on computer games and serious games in regard to the potential positive impacts of gaming on users aged 14 years or above, especially with respect to learning, skill enhancement and engagement. Search terms identified 129 papers reporting empirical evidence about the impacts and outcomes of computer games and serious games with respect to learning and engagement and a multidimensional approach to categorizing games was developed. The findings revealed that playing computer games is linked to a range of perceptual, cognitive, behavioural, affective and motivational impacts and outcomes. The most frequently occurring outcomes and impacts were knowledge acquisition/content understanding and affective and motivational outcomes. The range of indicators and measures used in the included papers are discussed, together with methodological limitations and recommendations for further work in this area.

Parents: What you need to know about video games in the classroom

Here is a great link from Wow in school that highlights a bunch of good resources for parents who are concerned about a ‘video’ game being used in their childs classroom. Even my undergrads just think video games are ‘mindless’ entertainment until I show them how games can be used to promote all types of learning objectives while motivating the students. Anyway here is the link: http://wowinschool.pbworks.com/w/page/5268739/Parental%20Involvement

Here is some same sources from the site that I really liked:

Tips for Smart Video GamingĀ – by Connect Safely
http://www.connectsafely.org/Safety-Tips/smart-tips-for-videogaming.html

Guide to Parental Controls on the XBox 360
http://www.getgamesmart.com/tools/setcontrols/

Powerful Play: A Mom and Son in World of Warcraft
http://www.netfamilynews.org/?p=31128

Why Kids Love Video Games and What Parents Can Do About It
http://www.netfamilynews.org/?p=31146

The Serious Need for Play – Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-serious-need-for-play

The Video Game Revolution (PBS Series)
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/index.html

8 Myths About Video Games Debunked (by Henry Jenkins, MIT)
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

Local teachers use website for teachers to ask for funding for gaming lab

Local Wilmington NC teachers (well really Pender county) are using the website Kickstarter to ask for funding for various technology projects (video game lab) they are doing in schools. I think this is an excellent way to inform the public about what projects we are doing and gives them the opportunity to support various projects in our schools. The website is kickstarter, check it out. To get to the local projects I am speaking of from West Pender Middle’s potential video game lab, visit the Kickstarter page at kickstarter.com/discover. Then, type “Warrior Gaming Lair” in the search field.

Here is a recent newspaper article about the programs in my area asking for funding: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120623/ARTICLES/120629866/1177?p=1&tc=pg&tc=ar

E3 – June 5th-7th

Anyone interested in gaming should check out E3 this year. The conference will take place from June 5th-7th in L.A. This is the conference where all of the big game makers will reveal their upcoming gaming hardware and software. It is at this conference where the latest advancements in gaming technology are revealed each year and it is worth keeping an eye on what is going on.

http://www.e3expo.com/

Free Educational Games at PBS

I really love PBS and not because I worked there while I was getting my Ph.D. They offer some great educational tools for educators. Last week in my courses we discussed gaming and gamification in K-12 Education. One of the sites my students were able to ‘play’ with during our game playing session was at PBS. This site offers tons of free educational games, so check it out and try to implement some into your lessons where you can. Keep in mind some are better than others so be sure to try out several:

pbskids.org/games/