This week’s content is so interesting to learn and they really refresh my mind!

To be honest when I first read the introduction“looking at online gaming from an educational perspective”, I was so confused because I could not even link online gaming to something educational, and I am sure that this subjective idea is largely impacted by my personal experience.

Gardenscapes, which is a candy crush game, must be the game that I’ve spent most of the time on in my entire life. Even though I didn’t play it too much in this semester because I was too lazy to update the app, I did play it addictively in my junior year in high school.

I opened the game and played it during the break, and even the first thing after waking up was to open the laptop and play. I still remember the feeling of success when I got through every level, and now I am almost 5000 levels!!! However, I also hate this feeling because I realized I couldn’t control my body, and what I wanted to do all the time was to play the game unstoppably. I spent most of my free time on the game, and I even played it during classes. Due to my own experience, I believed that online games must be something that ruins my “organized” life, and it becomes the controller of my body. If I have to say something educational, Gardenscapes must be a good game teaching you how to be persistent.

Thanks to this week’s topic, I have a new understanding of online games. Inspired by the video talking about Minecraft, I realize there are so many things that people can actually learn from games. For instance, more and more parents give iPads to kids to play, and the games they play are somewhat educational, which might teach children to count and sing.

Since children are likely to learn from online games nowadays, the issues related to privacy and safety should be paid more attention. We all know that not all games are appropriate for kids, and exploring online games without supervision can easily lead to misleading and form unwanted behaviors. Therefore, there are 3 important tips that I think parents, teachers, and game companies should do to ensure kids’ safety:

Increase Supervision: For parents, it’s their responsibility to know what game kids are playing. When they choose a game for children, playing the game first before letting children explore by themselves is a great strategy to avoid inappropriate or sensitive games. For teachers, they should be observant, paying attention to the behaviors that students have which might be affected by the games they play. If it is obvious that the game misleads students, effective communication and intervention should be made ASAP.

Clear Labels: Similar to the children channel that YouTube has, every legal game should have clear labels, stating the appropriate age range and potential danger that the game might contain. This works as an alarm to parents, so that they know which game is for kids.

Face the World: We don’t want to let students know all games are bad, but we want them to develop the ability to judge right and wrong, pro and con. Therefore, necessary activities can be created to teach students how to make a decision and ask for help if needed.

Finally, I found a really interesting article talking about what games are inappropriate for kids, and it was so surprising that Minecraft is also on the list. Therefore, I am curious whether there is an online game that is 100% positive and educational for kids.