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Games as teaching aids

A few weeks ago, my mom called to ask me about games. She knows I play them and follow the industry, and she had a specific question: where could she find screenshots of Modern Warfare 2, a popular recent game?

My curiosity got the better of me, and I had to ask. Why?

My mom is a speech therapist, but she spends most of her time with developmentally delayed kids. Many of her students are low functioning and have short attention spans, so she’s always on the lookout for new ways to keep them motivated and interested.

She’d heard her boys (and me) talk incessantly about video games over the years, and she’d seen firsthand the spell they could cast over even the lowest functioning kids. She realized she could harness that to help motivate them while working on reasoning, comprehension, and language skills.

I pointed her to a few screenshots and some background, and she was off to the races. “Who is this guy?” she’d ask, pointing to a soldier. “What’s he doing? How about that guy? Why are they doing that? Are they working together, or against each other? What happened before this? What’s going to happen next?”

Very cool. Such a great example of stepping outside yourself, thinking about other people, and meeting them where they are. gg mom!

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