The benefits of gaming development classes on our students

Parker Rushton, Staff Writer

Video games and school aren’t usually two topics we find going hand in hand, in fact many parents might say video games get in the way of school and every gamer has had to shut down the game to go to school at least once. Just because these two topics aren’t normally connected doesn’t mean that we can ignore the fact that many of our students love video games. It can be something fun to do with your friends or a way for we “rejects” to kill time without having to deal with the stress of social situations. Whatever reason people play video games, collectively, we can agree that for those of us who chose video games over a social life it can be difficult to open up a conversation about these interests¬† ¬†and find acceptance of our excitement in this medium. I however, found myself in a place where all kinds of people, who you may not even find talking to each other outside of this class, talk with great passion about the hobby we love so much.

In my gaming development fundamentals class, almost everyone has a shared love and interest in video games and when a topic comes up that people are passionate about you will find people who are normally quiet or keeping to themselves becoming part of the conversation at large and enjoying themselves. There is something beautiful about seeing people who normally don’t find themselves having a voice in general classroom discussion finding that voice through the passion they have for this subject.

Recently in this class we were tasked with creating board games to be played and critiqued by our peers, and when it was all said and done everyone seemed like they were having fun and enjoyed being there which is something we don’t see that often at school. The general attitude of students in most cases is that they despise being here, and can you really blame them? We find ourselves in classes that tend to be of little interest to us, completely surrounded by people that we, for the most part, don’t know and are forced to be around for a vast majority of our waking hours. Seeing a class that plays on students interests seems to have brought out the best in them, I find myself motivated and eager to do the assignments because it’s something that interests me, and the energy can be felt among my peers as well.

School can be hard and stressful, to the point of despising the thought of going at all to some, but when we have classes like this, classes that interest people, that motivates them. Suddenly the impossibility of finding the motivation to do any of your work turns to grinding out the assignments almost obsessively. The difficulty that some of us find in socializing with other students turns into being excited about conversations with knew people and making new friends. Maybe instead of telling our students what they should find interesting and wondering why they hate it here, we should just ask them. Maybe we should just ask and find ways to make sure that students are able to find people passionate about the same things they are, then watch them get excited about school all over again.