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View Diary: Unschooling in the Art of War (21 comments)

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  •  Depends on the game I guess (1+ / 0-)
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    I'm not a big fan of first person shooters, but I've seen people who do the team-combat lan party type things learn similar lessons to what a typical sports team would teach you.    Less good from an exercise standpoint but much lower risk of injury too shrug.   The solo games for those guys tend to be the same kind of thing as shooting hoops or running wind sprints are for an athlete.    The games with other people are what matter, the rest is learning the twitch to be a solid contributor.  Like anything else, that takes practice.

    I lean more toward computer games that aren't real-time.  Something more like Civilization or even  X-Com UFO defense, where you're building something in addition to the tactical combat.

    But I've done enough MMORPG stuff where sometimes you just wanna kill some monsters.   There is logistics, planning and tactics there too, in most of them.  At the highest levels of play, the PVP matches resemble, say, college basketball contests.  

    Then there are raids -  teaching 25 people to all do the right thing, perform their role and do it in an extremely chaotic environment....while also figuring out how to roster people in such a way as to train enough people to survive and not have the social dynamics shatter the group.   Not to mention the fact that the group demographics are wider than most folks meet in real life.   How often is a typical teenager going to interact with a 40-something housewife from another country?  Or even someone from a higher or lower income bracket than themselves, especially if they don't go to public school?

    Raid leaders might make pretty damn good managers.  Or hell, parents, cub scout leaders, a priest leading his congregation etc.

     I've seen raids organized like sports teams (first team, second team, competing for spots) and some like what you see in business (figure out who is good at what, train the trainer, then get everyone else to a minimum level of competence).   I'm biased to the latter model, but then I didn't do much with sports as a teen.

    I'm not saying that a lot of computer or console gaming is just as much of a waste of time as watching Gilligan's Island reruns was for me as a kid.   But somebody who actually has a passion for it may be getting more out of it than even they realize.   If you are a parent, get involved as much as you can so you can see what the kid is doing with that computer time.    

    My wife spend much of her teenage years chatting with her friends on her computer.  In the 90s she made a career out of that until she was disabled, and the network of friends she built up during that time is still a durable support to our lives.

    Her mom thought she was wasting her time.  By contrast, she's used very little that she learned in high school in her real life.

    •  Online RPGs were very significant for my kids... (0+ / 0-)

      You can read more about that in my piece about my kids' unschooling experiences...

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:27:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

        I know three published authors (one in RPGs, struggling, one a B-list popular writer, one who actually made it pretty big) who started in a way similar to your daughter, with a whole lot of online roleplay (in Muds...MMORPG's didn't exist yet).

        I also see how your son got where he ended up from where he started.  A MMORPG economy can be very sophisticated and you can learn a lot that is fairly easily transferred into the real world.  (as an example, I learned how to barter and haggle in one game, something culturally alien to me before).    Although as your son also learned there is one huge difference between a game and real life.  In a MMORPG, hard work will always pay off, the way it is supposed to in our mythology of how America works.  No setback is so large that spending more time in the game won't allow you to recover.

        Life's a bit harder than that.  The effort->reward isn't set by developers to keep you playing.   But an early lesson in that isn't a bad thing.  My stepdad never had a serious failure, one bad enough to damage his self-image until he was middle aged.  I got mine at about 23.  I've been very grateful it happened young for me, it seems a lot easier to accept failure when young and you're less entrenched in the idea that everything will always work out.

        •  I appreciate your thoughts on my other pieces... (0+ / 0-)

          You can see how my kids' experiences made me go back and reexamine my own and come to these conclusions beyond conventional wisdom that now animate my blogging.

          I want to acknowledge all your comments on my pieces and the discussion we have had here.  Encountering folks like you who seem to be fellow travelers inspires me and makes my day!  Thank you and I hope we keep chatting!

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles

          by leftyparent on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:22:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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