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Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul: Pleasure and Learning

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Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul is about pleasure and learning. Good video games allow people to create their own 'music', to compose a symphony from their own actions, decisions, movements, and feelings. They allow people to become 'pros', to feel and act like an expert soldier, city planner, world builder, thief, tough guy, wizard and a myriad of other things. The Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul is about pleasure and learning. Good video games allow people to create their own 'music', to compose a symphony from their own actions, decisions, movements, and feelings. They allow people to become 'pros', to feel and act like an expert soldier, city planner, world builder, thief, tough guy, wizard and a myriad of other things. They allow people to create order out of complexity, to gain and feel mastery, and to create new autobiographies, careers and histories. In his earlier book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee offered thirty-six reasons why good video games create better learning conditions than many of today's schools. In this new book, built entirely around games and game play, he shows how good video games marry pleasure and learning and, at the same time, have the potential to empower people. James Paul Gee is the Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of the acclaimed What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy and the more recent Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling, both of which deal with video games and their implications for learning in the modern world.


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Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul is about pleasure and learning. Good video games allow people to create their own 'music', to compose a symphony from their own actions, decisions, movements, and feelings. They allow people to become 'pros', to feel and act like an expert soldier, city planner, world builder, thief, tough guy, wizard and a myriad of other things. The Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul is about pleasure and learning. Good video games allow people to create their own 'music', to compose a symphony from their own actions, decisions, movements, and feelings. They allow people to become 'pros', to feel and act like an expert soldier, city planner, world builder, thief, tough guy, wizard and a myriad of other things. They allow people to create order out of complexity, to gain and feel mastery, and to create new autobiographies, careers and histories. In his earlier book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee offered thirty-six reasons why good video games create better learning conditions than many of today's schools. In this new book, built entirely around games and game play, he shows how good video games marry pleasure and learning and, at the same time, have the potential to empower people. James Paul Gee is the Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of the acclaimed What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy and the more recent Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling, both of which deal with video games and their implications for learning in the modern world.

30 review for Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul: Pleasure and Learning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Always2014

    interesting ideas. Got me to start thinking about what are the benefits of video games. There are a handful of typos in this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Freeman

    Video Games Are Good For Your Soul Despite the outcry that gaming is a waste of time, video games make us feel good, Gee says, and what’s more they are a great learning tool. There’s no question that people get pleasure from such gaming, that’s why they buy them but are they “good” for you? We know young children learn through play and Gee argues that video games provide learning within a structured environment, with contextual help on demand, and positive reinforcement for success. But can games Video Games Are Good For Your Soul Despite the outcry that gaming is a waste of time, video games make us feel good, Gee says, and what’s more they are a great learning tool. There’s no question that people get pleasure from such gaming, that’s why they buy them but are they “good” for you? We know young children learn through play and Gee argues that video games provide learning within a structured environment, with contextual help on demand, and positive reinforcement for success. But can games teach you … anything? Can they teach you math, geography, economics…archaeology? Gee largely focuses on immersive games. Some of what he says could equally be applied to all games – simpler computer games, but also board, card games and role play games. But the new breed of virtual worlds, he notes, let you take on a blended personality with your avatar, harnessing a set of developing skills and role playing different situations. Read Neal Stephenson’s excellent the Diamond Age to glimpse the future possibilities. Potentially games, through re-play and structured contextual environments can provide information, but more importantly learning, empathy, long term planning and critical thinking skills. And they allow failure and the possibility to try again - something often absent from public education. It’s an interesting book, though a little repetitive in place for such a short volume, and I’d have like to have seen more educational and learning theory. (He has since published further volumes). I’d argue that there are elements in these games that can be taken advantage of quite simply – creative use of multimedia, interactive content, built in rewards and social learning. If our classrooms aren’t ready for Call of Duty can we at least develop web-enabled text books with interactive content?

  3. 5 out of 5

    James

    Gee makes a persuasive case that playing video games, as part of a balanced range of activities, enhances the emotional, cognitive, and social growth of children, adolescents, and adults. This isn't his first book on this subject, but he covers some new ground and backs up his assertions with examples from specific games. I would have given this five stars except for two things - first, a lot of the content overlaps with his earlier work; second, and to me equally important, his editor really le Gee makes a persuasive case that playing video games, as part of a balanced range of activities, enhances the emotional, cognitive, and social growth of children, adolescents, and adults. This isn't his first book on this subject, but he covers some new ground and backs up his assertions with examples from specific games. I would have given this five stars except for two things - first, a lot of the content overlaps with his earlier work; second, and to me equally important, his editor really let him down - this book is more riddled with typos, word mix-ups, mis-punctuations, and other basic instances of sloppy writing, that I had to go back and re-read some sentences and paragraphs two and three times to figure out what he meant for them to say. Still, a very worthwhile read on this subject.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maren

    This book showed me how people can get addicted to video games, something I couldn't really fathom before. My experience with gaming never got past the Super Mario Brothers. So I didn't have a lot of context for what Gee was talking about, but his ideas were interesting. He mentioned how games could be used in education but never delved into that. I've heard he does take on that topic in another book, though. So I'll have to check that out.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  6. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisette Robey

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amit Verma

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Rolph

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Newburgh sheehy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edward

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  16. 4 out of 5

    MarkMcgwire

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arturo Nereu

  18. 4 out of 5

    abdolla abdollay

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Farah

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jill Perry

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin M

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  24. 4 out of 5

    John

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zaru

  26. 4 out of 5

    norman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gina Wagoner

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kumasama

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice

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