It’s been a while since my last entry and the blame lies squarely on an addiction. This addiction while not new, is one I’ve had since I was about 10 years old. I’ve broken free at times but somehow always find my way back when new technologies allow the scourge that is the “video game” to become much more interactive and exciting.
It was only three short years ago that the MMORPG (Massive Multi-user Online Role Playing Game) first started gaining momentum on the internet. I was simply astounded that real people could all play the same game at the same time and compete against each other.
Long gone are the times when you had to use your imagination to make a green square seem like an invincible warrior! Now it is quite easy to slip into a fantasy world where it takes years to properly develop your character. Long gone are the days when adults could say that playing games make your brain turn to mush. The military even learned this lesson and those with excellent video game playing skills are in high demand to control the various techologies of war.
In the game I’ve been playing for over a year, I’ve learned that these games actually teach many skills that seem boring in the classroom. The game I play is called “Knight Online” where you are able to select your character to be a “Rogue Archer, Mage, Priest, Warrior or Healer.” Players are from around the world and speak in many languages but mostly Turkish. In this game you can learn:
1. Languages – Mostly simple Turkish words after seeing them over and over again. Kids are actually gaining an interest in a foreign language since it is necessary to communicate!
2. Economics – In the game you can collect various precious items, armor, weapons and sell them for a price you set. The market moves up and down depending on the laws of supply and demand which is basic Economics 101!!
3. Time zones and Geography – Depending on the time of day, various players from different countries will be online and this knowledge is beneficial in determining at one hour one wishes to participate in the wars which are set at certain times.
4. Statistics – There is a “magic anvil” in which you have a chance to upgrade your weapons and armor, but the better these items get the chances that your weapon or armor will be destroyed increase. Kids learn the statistics and determine whether to chance it, or sell the weapon they’ve got.
5. Contribute to World Peace – Since you play the game with people from all over the world you quickly learn that we’re all not that different and can even strike up friendships with people from other countries. It’s becoming much more difficult for the leadership of countries to make villians of citizens of other countries because through the game, kids are realizing this just isn’t true.
Bottom line is that games now make kids smarter. The picture below is of my character in battle. I do hope that I’ll soon tire of this game so I can do more productive things in my free time but as computers and the internet get better, so do the games. Looks like I’m doomed.