I Hate Games: An Introduction & History of Play

I hate games.

Seriously. I’ve always hated games. My fun meter immediately drops with even the slightest mention of games. I don’t know why I hate games. Maybe I’m ADD? Maybe I’m to apathetic about competition and winning? Sometimes, games just seem like a lot of extra work and a walk (or something) sounds more enjoyable.

 

Someone: Want to play a game?!

Me:

So, why did I sign up for the course: Games and Learning to finish up my graduate program at The University of Colorado Denver?

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding this course (no offense to you, Remi ). But, I am at the point where I don’t want to prolong this work-life-school-life balance anymore. It was my only choice to ensure a diploma in May! I made the decision to give this a try and so, here I am… almost one week into the semester and embarking on a learning journey that I’m sure will be full confusion and frustration. However, I’m optimistic and up for the challenge– this is personal. I’m curious to dive into theories behind learning through play and hopefully bring some understanding, maybe even a little appreciation, for my distaste for games!

When I think about my history of play,

my mind immediately go to my brother and sports. My bro is two years older and has ALWAYS been a gamer. Nintendo, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, board games, World of Warcraft, you name it. Growing up, I can remember watching him play Mario and The Legend of Zelda. I would watch him in amazement by how he could sit there with such patience and concentration– and win!. I could never get past the first few levels in any video game I played. Fun for me usually involved some friends, imagination, and the outdoors.

I also played a lot of sports growing up and danced for 15 years. Naturally, my “history of play” revolves heavily around the idea of competitive sports.

As an adult, my play still involves the outdoors; hiking, weekend camping trips, traveling, yoga, anything that yields to adventure and new experiences.

For me, play more or less a state of mind– it doesn’t have to necessarily be tied to “gaming.” Play comes naturally when you are fully present, engaged, and take pleasure in the activity at hand. Just because I don’t jive with games doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy and seek play. This is important because I think it emphasizes the psychology behind play and how we as educators, instructional designers, etc… should view games and their impact on learning.

So, here we go. Lets the games begin!

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