Gaming and Networking Parent Talk by Students

Nov 7, 2018

ARIS Secondary School hosted a Parent Talk on the 6th of November, about Gaming and Networking. A small, extra-ordinary detail was that the talk was entirely conducted to parents, by 4 students in different grades.

Most people perceive video games to be inconsequential to our lives, especially with context to teaching and learning. Every student who loves gaming has probably heard a couple of times about how Gaming is a waste of time, or the games that they are playing are not healthy for their minds.

With the presentation that our students gave yesterday, its safe to say that those perceptions might have been shaken! The students said that the purposes for which they play video games all vary according to the gamer and the game.

Their presentation began with each of them presenting on some of the most popular video games that they play. This includes – Fortnite, Red Dead Redemption, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto and more Action Games. They said that each of the above games serves a different purpose than just the enjoyment that comes from playing it.

For instance, playing Fortnite is all about timing, being aware of one’s surroundings, and also networking and collaborating with other players. Red Dead Redemption being set in the 15th Century, gives the players an idea of the paradox of the lives now and then, and also a look into history, not to mention a lesson of being independent! GTA, has a reputation among the parent community, but the students also mentioned that it gives off the message of accountability, and knowing about consequences to our actions. Minecraft is all about creativity and strategic thinking!

The students said that playing video games has been proven to increase our cognitive functions! With the attention to details, strategic thinking and being constantly alert while playing video games, it can slow the ageing of our brain by 7 years. Moreover, playing video games is also applicable to students with special educational needs, for example, students with dyslexia.

Playing Video Games and being familiar with it has also proven to have a long term benefit on professionals who have had to incorporate technology into their practices! For example, Doctors and Surgeons with Surgery.

Video Games, the students said, apart from improving strategic thinking, also has other advantages. It helps players become risk-takers, and also improves reaction time. In some games, with the maps that a player has to interpret, it also helps in their spatial reasoning abilities, and improves memory.

Of course, too much of anything is not good. The folks are right on that one! Video Games can lead to game addiction, its time consuming, and it’s also unsafe in some cases where children talk to predatory strangers. It leads to anti-behavior and also cyber bullying.

Based on some of their personal experiences, some students also honestly spoke about how Video Games have taught them ethical hacking skills. Some have used these skills to also make an online business by trading game attributes.

What struck all the facilitators and parents present is how much new knowledge and perspectives this generation has to offer. In order to educate and engage 21st Century learners, in the wake of all the technology and exposure, we have to run alongside them and work with them. Our Head of School, Mme. Alpana and MYP Coordinator present, also said how there will be more student-teacher collaboration coming and even a small scale think tank popping up for our students to use their agency in learning and advise on how we can use Gaming to enhance teaching and learning!