In recent years, technology has taken a starring role in the classroom. This new perspective is something that I have just recently gotten comfortable with. Some forms of technology are easier to integrate in the classroom than others, and up until this semester, I had never even thought about entertaining the idea of using video games in the classroom. I can easily see the benefits of using social networking websites, like YouTube, Twitter, even Facebook, in the classroom, but video games as a learning device seemed a little too far-fetched. Rebekah Shultz Colby, Richard Colby, and John Alberti offer enlightening analysis about how using video games in the classroom can have a positive effect on students.
In the article, “A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Computer Games into the Writing Classroom”, Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Colby demonstrate how adding a virtual game into a classroom setting can add a refreshing element to a traditional, stale learning environment. This article is very interesting, because Colby and Colby offer a new outlook that could reach the learning styles of different students. An overarching theme that I have been noticing from the readings that we have been doing is the importance of being able to adapt and reinvent your teaching style and classroom to stay relevant with what is happening. With the presence of technology becoming more apparent, it is only natural to integrate this aspect into the classroom. By adding virtual games in the classroom, this can “open up a gap for computer game theory to inform pedagogy that can be practiced in a writing classroom” (Colby and Colby 300).
For ‘old-soul’ individuals, like myself, if I were to use virtual games in my classroom, it would probably only be for a couple of class meetings. While I do see the benefits, I also do not want to appeal to one type of student. It is important for teachers to diversify their teaching style, but if a radically different style is the primary emphasis for an entire semester, it will be a waste of time. “The question of video games being taken seriously as cultural texts certainly involves the typical process of acquiring cultural capital that goes along with any new discursive medium…” (Alberti 260). Right now, in 2013, there probably are classrooms that are using video games as teaching tools, but it is not a practice that is widespread. With technology’s role becoming more and more prominent in the classroom, the use of virtual gaming as a teaching tool might become an aspect that will be popularized in years to come. But to get to that point, we must question the state of the traditional classroom setting. “What does it mean to re-imagine the writing classroom as an arena of play, to pursue the metaphor of writing as gaming?” (Alberti 267).