Chapter 6: 21st-century media and issues
For this essay and the next I will continue to use my topic of communication and literacy within video games. I believe this topic is much more relevant than many would typically think without learning more about it. The type of communication between players and teammates in video games may be different than average everyday communication but it may actually be more efficient than most would realize. This type of communication involves quick, precise descriptions and many snap decisions and judgments. It is in some ways more efficient than ordinary communication but in other ways it is obviously very out of place. There are various situations this kind of communication can be used in and many different variations of it but it can almost always be traced back to a form of oversimplified and sped up communication used to convey information as fast as possible so it can be acted on quickly. Video games can also be more broadly used to assist in education as a whole and not just in the improvement of communication skills. This relationship is often underused or ignored by educators but may be closely related to the future of education if not just an underrated way to keep students engaged and interested in what they are learning.
This unique form of communication has become more and more interesting to me as I researched it further. It is much more closely related to general communication than most people would assume yet it is still very different with its special differences. In my final essay on this topic, I plan to answer several questions on this topic. These questions include: How does video game communication effect real world communication skills? Is video game communication an effective form of improving communication skills? What are the literacy practices of video game players? Can video games be used effectively in an educational setting? I believe these questions are the most accurate depiction of the main idea I am attempting to convey with this topic and essay. The topic of communication in video games is very relevant to me because I play video games frequently and often communicate in this unique way with my friends while we play in an attempt to be more efficient and successful while playing the game. Before doing research on this topic, my stance on these research questions would be that video game communication can be efficient and helpful in its own right but would most likely not be useful in other scenarios. After doing research, however, my opinion on this has changed. I am now definitely swayed more towards the idea that video game communication and the playing of video games can be very beneficial to real world communication skills and that video games can be used for educational purposes.
There are a wide variety of academic fields that are interested in these sorts of topics that have done research on it but of what I have found so far, they mainly seem to be research from an educational source such as a university or an educator do research independently. A significant number of studies I have found so far are research on groups of students being studied on how they react and benefit from playing video games as an educational source. I think articles such as these will be the most beneficial for my final essay because they have extensive research on how video games and literacy are connected in several different ways. There are different articles, however, that can also be helpful such as studies on the connection between video games and communication specifically rather than literacy as a whole. These types of studies are slightly different than the other, but I believe that they will be very beneficial in answering the research question more focused on the communication aspect of video games literacy.
I plan to start my essays first body paragraph on the topic of communication skills in video games and answer the research questions: How does video game communication effect real world communication skills? and, Is video game communication an effective form of improving communication skills? These questions have been the main topic of my previous two essays and because of this I believe it should be the first topic of discussion in my final research essay. For this section I plan on using articles that specifically relate to communication such as “Can game-based learning enhance engineering communication skills?” And other articles like it. This topic is what seemed most interesting to me so far in both other essays and the entire semester but since the research essay will be much longer I need to add several other topics.
The second body paragraph will be more focused towards video games relationship to education and literacy as a whole rather than only communication. This paragraph will include articles more geared towards research on how playing video games has an effect on student’s education and literacy skills. These studies are typically based on a group of students who are studied while playing video games and participating in school work to see if there is any correlation between the skills in each category. For this paragraph I will need to use articles such as “Video Games and English as a Second Language: The Effect of Massive Multiplayer Online Video Games on The Willingness to Communicate and Communicative Anxiety of College Students in Puerto Rico” As it shows how video games can have an effect of a student’s education. This paragraph will explore the concept of how much video games are overlooked as a potential form of education because of preconceived notions from most educators who design the curriculum for the students that could benefit greatly from video games being integrated in some way to their learning experience. This section of the essay could possibly seem a bit too confident in video games role in education because obviously students cannot learn everything they need to learn from school just from video games but I want to write about mainly how they are simply overlooked and almost always completely dismissed and ignored as an option for educators who may need something to keep the students a bit more engaged and interested in what they are trying to teach.
I also want to add a third body paragraph at some point within the essay about how video games have an effect on social skills as a whole and not just communication. It can often be overlooked how video games develop social skills for young people in a more safe and comfortable environment than school can be at times for some students. With a more secure environment for students and young people such as video games they can feel more confident in improving their social skills and relating better to other people. For this section I will most likely cite the article “Video Games Are Social Spaces: How Video Games Help People Connect” as well as others that I feel have themes that support this idea as well. This paragraph will be somewhat disconnected from the main topic and research questions but I feel it is still an important aspect of the relationship between video games and education.
Horowitz, Kenneth S. “Video Games and English as a Second Language: The Effect of Massive Multiplayer Online Video Games on The Willingness to Communicate and Communicative Anxiety of College Students in Puerto Rico.” American Journal of Play, vol. 11, no. 3, Jan. 2019, pp. 379–410. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1220304&site=eds-live&scope=site.
This article is an examination of the benefit of playing video games for those people who use English as a second language and wish to improve their skills with it. Horowitz uses research, evidence, and reasoning to write this essay on how playing video games can improve the communication and English skills of Puerto Ricans that wish to become better at using the English language. It describes the internet as a whole as an efficient new way to learn language.
Luu, Sylvia, and Anupama Narayan. “Games at Work: Examining a Model of Team Effectiveness in an Interdependent Gaming Task.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 77, Dec. 2017, pp. 110–120. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.08.025.
This article is a study on how computer games can affect team work and communication using the virtual and online environments. Teams were observed with how well they displayed team qualities like efficiency and communication and how well they used them. It also explores the motivation provided by games for the players to improve upon those skills and why they do it. The efficiency of a group is elevated when all members do their part.
Barr, Matthew. “Video Games Can Develop Graduate Skills in Higher Education Students: A Randomised Trial.” Online Submission, vol. 113, Jan. 2017, pp. 86–97. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=ED608315&site=eds-live&scope=site.
This article is a study on how playing video games can improve the development of social skills and so-called graduate skills. Specific games were selected for this study to maximize the effectiveness of the results showing improvement in the desired skills. The study uses a self-reporting scale for how well the people being tested believe they are improving within a flexible self-made schedule of playing the games and recording results.
Roach, Alex, and Yeski Utami. “Using video game to enhance English communication skills.” Proceedings of ISELT FBS Universitas Negeri Padang 5 (2017): 200-204.
Roach and Utami write an article about the use of modern technology in modern education and how video games can possibly be a large part of it. It was believed that the fun aspect of the video games would encourage students to communicate more than they normally would. Students were asked to play two simple video games and then recorded the levels of teamwork and communication and how it benefited both their efficiency in the game and their enjoyment and fun of playing the game.
Bodnar, Cheryl A., and Renee M. Clark. “Can game-based learning enhance engineering communication skills?.” IEEE transactions on professional communication 60.1 (2017): 24-41.
This article is more specifically focused on the communication skills between engineers and engineering students and how playing games could potentially improve their communication skills. The research seeks the answer to how communication within the games can translate to real world oral communication skills between the students. It also compares this method to other previous more well-known methods of communication improvement and how they are different and similar. It explores the educational and communication aspects of playing games.
Squire, Kurt. “Video games in education.” Int. J. Intell. Games & Simulation 2.1 (2003): 49-62.
Squire’s article is about the increasing prevalence of video games and technology as a new way to administer education. He explains how since the creation of video games they have become increasingly popular and more influential to culture. Considering this rise in influence, Squire believes it is possible for video games to play a bigger role in education than many educators may think. Squire references studies that display the correlation and relationship between video games and a learner’s levels of motivation and engagement with the material they are learning.
Baker, Brandon, “Gaming as a Teaching Tool.” Penn Today, 6 May 2020, penntoday.upenn.edu/news/gaming-teaching-tool.
This source is an internet article discussing the potential role of video games in education and how they are often overlooked. Baker discusses how while video games already do have an extensive history in education they are often overlooked and underappreciated in this field and could be used much more. It also discusses the effects of a course that used video games as an educational tool in the past and how making video games is also educational.
Jones, Carolyn. “A New Venue for Video Games: K-12 Classrooms .” EdSource, EdSource, 7 May 2018, edsource.org/2018/a-new-venue-for-video-games-k-12-classrooms/597100.
This is another online article that takes a look at the relationship between school education and how video games play a role in them. This article is very much so in support of the use of video games in education and gives examples of how they are helpful. Jones writes about how the creativity of games is influential on the creativity of the students and their learning process.
“The Benefits of Gaming in Education: the Build A World Case.” Acer for Education, 27 Jan. 2017, acerforeducation.acer.com/education-trends/gamification/the-benefits-of-gaming-in-education-the-build-a-world-case/.
Yet another article elaborating on the support for video games to be used in educational settings. Although it has no listed author this article has many good points to make about the use of video games in educational settings in a list style that explores multiple aspects of the arguments individually. The article explores the positive aspects of video game education such as social involvement, critical thinking and technology and how they all benefit education as a whole.
Elassar, Alaa. “Video Games Help Children Improve Literacy, Communication and Mental Well-Being, Survey Finds.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Sept. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/09/05/health/video-games-literacy-creativity-children-trnd/index.html.
This CNN article focuses more specifically on the aspect of video games in education that relates more to communication skills and mental health. Author Alaa Elassar writes about the way playing video games can prepare students better for building real life social skills and communicating more effectively. Elassar writes how many students find video games as a calming escape from stress and responsibility that help them get through the day.
Hulick, Kathryn. “Video Games Level up Life Skills.” Science News for Students, 3 Dec. 2019, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/video-games-level-life-skills.
Another similar article that supports the use of video games to improve social skills such as communication and teamwork. Hulick discusses how video games are very useful for improving one’s resourcefulness and ability to retain other social skills. The article references a study done of students answering questions before and after playing a vdieo game together that concluded that there may be a correlation between video games and skills such as these.
Fishman, Andrew. “Video Games Are Social Spaces: How Video Games Help People Connect.” Video Games Are Social Spaces: How Video Games Help People Connect | ResponseCenter, www.jcfs.org/response/blog/video-games-are-social-spaces-how-video-games-help-people-connect.
This article by Andrew Fishman is written to show readers how video games are often used as a social space for typically young people wishing to socialize in an easier and more convenient way. Fishman writes how these virtual social spaces can be extremely helpful for people of particular communities in advancing their social skills easier than they could in real life. He writes how many parents are wrong to assume that video games are just a waste of time but are rather usually very helpful for young people.