Family fun: Civiliazation 5

We have had the Civilization game for approx 2 Weeks. WH and LT have been playing at any opportunity. LT is now insisting on giving me lessons in how to play (he might even let me touch the mouse soon! LOL).

The first game LT played was very much exploratory, with WH as the guide on the side, his advice being mostly ignored as LT clicked and traded and tried out different moves. In the last few days LT has come to understand many things, including that the map he uses has real cities on it (though many are in the wrong places), and that the people/leaders of the cities were real people. This has excited him so much. The other major excitement was when he leveled up to his first Golden Age, this jubilation involved many high fives and hugs. While I still have little understanding of what this achievement actually entails, I do know just from his reaction that it is a big deal. This has flowed on to him wanting me to play too, and he has set up a game for me and is patiently showing me how to play.

WH has also reflected on how LT is playing this game. He commented that LT is more likely to trade with others, than to attack and try to take their land. LT has also found some other menus and diagrams that help give different visions of the game and it’s goals, WH was very surprised as he hadn’t found them yet!

Much of LT’s self talk while he plays is gorgeous too…he chats to the characters eg: ‘that’s not very nice, he is attacking me’, ‘these little guys are going to make a farm’, ‘yay, we got animal husbandry’ and ‘we can trade with London and we are friends’. LT is also very conscious of ‘liberty’ and this is a value he encouraged me to pursue  from the beginning of ‘my’ game. I have also noticed that the reading skills he is developing at school are transferring to sounding out the names and cities he is unfamiliar with.

LT’s other great love is still ‘gamestar mechanic’, and he has leveled up and entered his first competition. While his work didn’t exactly take in to account all the competition criteria, he loved having the focused task and was again very proud of himself when he had finished his game and submitted it. He has rung and told relatives that he has ‘done his first entry’ and is still excited about it days later.

In terms of learning, there is a lot going on here. I am excited about the wider world knowledge that is being developed, and more than that the general approach to learning and life my son is showing. He is excited about being active in producing games to show others. He is eager to show and teach others what he has learned. He is not frustrated by ‘not knowing’ how to use something new, and will happily play and explore to figure out how he wants to use it. He has confidence in his ability to ‘figure out’ what he can and looks for help files and tutorials (and yes, you-tubes too). He will also ask for help from us when he needs it.

In terms of Gaming theory (my area of current reading) the games we are presenting to him have engaged him because they allow him these spaces to learn. He is exploring and achieving in increments, operating at his zone of proximal development and getting constant feedback on his progress. He plays because it is fun and rewarding, the effort he puts in is rewarded within the game space. Failure doesn’t really factor in to these games, there is a focus on doing it better next time, and not on winning and losing.

The mere fact that LT, who is 6, can play and achieve the goals set, show his learning across many different areas and teach and show others how to play and level up suggests to me that digital natives are more willing to explore, try new things and find ways to succeed, instead of giving up at the first obstacle.  These are definitely characteristics I want all of my students to develop.

Until next week,

Fiona T


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Past Posts

March 2012
« Feb   Apr »
%d bloggers like this: