James Paul Gee explains that as educators we are trying to reinvent a tool that already works. How many times do people play a game that is really fun at home or with friends but when at school we use tools that are boring? Many times I remember being bored by computer time at school because what we used at school was too hard. When I was a para professional at Johansen High School I remember watching students use programs for the math class and their faces would scrunch up with determination at doing well on the math program.
As a system I think schools have tried to distance themselves too apart from the nemisis the video game. I know most teachers and parents see them as a waste of time, but they must do something right with the way they engaged students for long periods of time. If only we could shake hands and let go of our differences and merge gaming with learning. Maybe by trying to reinvent the game by making it more educational schools are missing the elements gamers have learned entice students to play. Gaming businesses focus on figuring out what sells and schools motivation is teaching so maybe this is why educational games suck. Obviously schools do not have the resources big business have to pour into finding out what gamers want so instead of reinventing the wheel lets join forces with them find out what works and admit games could be useful.