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Interactive video lesson plan for: Game Literacy: Games in Education - Should We Teach Game Basics? - Extra Credits

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We've long advocated for games in classrooms on Extra Credits, but as the idea has become more widespread, we've also encountered some unforeseen problems with the idea. Mainly, games literacy: a familiarity with the basics of games that would allow students to play them in the same way that written literacy allows them to read or write their homework. Even as schools have taken big steps to overcome the technology gap of old, outdated computers that can't run modern software by providing students with tablets or updating their computer labs, they're now running into the problem of games literacy. More and more children are encountering games at a young age, but it's still far from all of them, and a student who doesn't understand how to use a controller or the concept of XP won't get much out of educational game systems. Card and board games are an option, since physical games tend to be a lot easier to grasp, but they don't scale well - imagine a class of 30 children trying to play the same board game. You could also put students together in groups, but that puts a burden on students who do have games literacy to become teachers for their peers, and it may be embarrassing for students who lack game literacy to reach out to their classmates for help. So the question becomes, should we teach games literacy in schools in the same way we teach written literacy? While we initially thought no - students, especially young ones, already have more than enough critical skills to learn - we've realized since then that games literacy can be taught alongside traditional subjects. Basic games can help students learn to read, or learn to do math, teaching them a traditional core skill through simple systems that will also introduce those kids to the fundamentals of game literacy.

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