Monday, February 15, 2010

Supporting Their Passions

Devin has recently began playing the online game World of Warcraft. I posted his new passion as a Facebook update and received some pretty surprising comments! I even had a long-time friend "unfriend" me for our choice to support Devin's passion. It seems that video game play brings up some intense emotions for some people.

Devin's new interest has branched off in wondrous directions! He has a new found skill creating weapons from materials that you can find in any hardware store. Here is a picture of what he calls a "double-sided blunt weapon" created from PVC pipe, a pool noodle and duct tape. He wants to make and sell these at the next conference we attend. (He is a natural-born entrepreneur.)

I recently read a few quotes online about the game World of Warcraft that I wanted to share,

"Researchers who gathered in Boston for the American Psychological Association convention detailed a series of studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools — from increasing younger students' problem-solving potential to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.

The research found the game encouraged scientific thinking, like using systems and models for understanding situations and using math and testing to investigate problems.
The vast majority of the discussion participants, 86 percent, shared knowledge to solve problems and more than half, 58 percent, used systematic and evaluative processes, researchers found.

The forums show that gamers are "creating an environment in which informal scientific reasoning practices are being learned," said Sean Duncan, a doctoral student who worked on the "World of Warcraft" report with lead author Constance Steinkuehler."


shandon said...

My four and a half year old loves "gaming"! On the computer, on a game console, if it's on a piece of media he's interested. I've witnessed what he's gained in knowledge (from life lessons to skill aquisition) and I'm eager to see where it takes him next. How can it be bad to support something that gives him such joy and makes him want to know more and more and more? On the note of the theme of war (good guys versus bad guys), this kind of conflict is everywhere in most cultures. It's a part of human history (and pre-history, I'm sure). It's very MALE to explore war and related themes. Michael Gurian argues for the necessity of its expression and the potential harms resulting from its repression in his book "The Minds of Boys". Just wanted to say "right on!" You're not alone in supporting nurturing your son's love of a war-themed game!

Shady Lady said...

I've just started reading Don't Bother Me Mom, I'm Learning. Excellent book dispelling the scare tactics about the evil of video games.

windingcirclelifeschool said...

This research would not surprise me at all.There is more to computer games then just spacing out in front of a TV.Our girls reading has come along because of computer games.Too often people see the "bad" in things before even investigating the activity!
Devin is so lucky to have such a supportive mum!

Chasey said...

Good for you both to be supporting your children's passions,without judgement!It greatly bothers me,how much I see so many parents CONTROLLING their children's tv/video game watching,while THEY are consuming large amounts of alcohol/smoking/consuming drugs/etc.,but noone is monitoring them?And there is the main reason I already mentioned.CONTROL.Because so many parents condone THEIR "guilty pleasures",all the while standing over their children pointing a finger/shaming/taking away things (all in the name of "discipline") on a daily basis.Too many parents think of their child as someone who they OWN,and thereby are entitled to CONTROL.In every element of that child's life.
If you want your child to do the "right" thing,make "good" decisions,well,here's a great place to start.LEAD BY EXAMPLE!
Want your child to tell the truth?Then tell it to them and in front of them!Want your child to respect you and their siblings?Respect them!Don't want your child to swear?Then watch your OWN language!
Children watch and MIMIC their parents.It's common sense Mommy & Daddy!Pretty SIMPLE!
It's why I love your blog,love reading about your's and your hubby's positive parenting Dayna!
You RESPECT your children.In EVERY way!You lead by example!
So don't worry in the slightest when/if someone comments negatively, while standing on their judgemental pedestal.Just LAUGH.Because you just have to know deep down,that person is doing something,that is causing them to speak from the "ego" and not the "heart".
Keep up the amazing job you and your hubby are doing!You are an inspiration to parents who KNOW that children are to be KISSED-not "DISSED",HUGGED-not "BUGGED",LAUGHED WITH-not LAUGHED "AT" and RESPECTED-not "DIRECTED"!!!

Alison said...

I'm a mum AND an avid WOW player. I've connected with people all across Europe, form every different walk off life you can imagine and have grown personally just from talking to these people. Every topic has been covered, and I have a hard core of people I have played with for years, spoken to, even met with. Wow is not just about killing the other faction, it's about teamwork, respect for others (well, at leats your faction ;) ) Learning to ask questions and also helping out people who are newer to the game than you are. There's priorities on gear, working out what stats give you that edge you're looking for, what spells to use at what time, there's intense strategy, time spent messing about, exploring, collecting mini pets, achievements. You use the internet to find guides, forums to discuss talent trees and spell rotation... No mindless killing or absorbing what the screen tells you.
There's a world out there...

Anonymous said...

Wow. My jaw is open. I have struggled for so long with my son's love/obsession?/passion with computer games. I have rules about no computer during the day. He would (and has) played for hours if I let him. He also has other interests by the way, but he loves the computer. It has happened several times that my children have spelled something or used a word that surprised me, and when I question where they learned it, they say from their game.

My husband has said for a long time that I'm over reacting. Could it be true? Could my husband be correct? Say it isn't so!!! ;)

My mind is open. I will think about this and get that book Shady Lady suggested. :)

Rebecca said...

Hi Dayna:

We're just about to embark on the WOW path.

My husband sent me this link - it's about WOW in schools, but it likely has some good stuff about what it is exactly that kids are getting out of it, well, other than fun (for *those* conversations with the naysayers).

(Confession: I haven't watched it yet but I will!!)

Rebecca said...

Here's another fabulous TED talks video about WOW and WOW-type games.