I’m 37 years old.
Growing up in the 80’s, arcades were a part of life. I spent time in actual arcades, the “arcade rooms” in our local mall, and then, when my parents finally gave in, in my basement, playing Atari (2600 and 7800), the “old-school” Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, and Playstation.
It’s been a while since I’ve been “up on” the gaming realm. I don’t tend to play games of the most popular genres, often opting for strategy-style games or waiting for a new addition to a game line (i.e Zelda, Final Fantasy, etc.) to come out. That puts me on the back-end of most gaming initiatives.
And of course, with busy personal lives and a full-focus professional career, there just isn’t much time left for gaming (let alone anything else focused on the self).
Yet, with holiday sales in full force, and a number of great options, I gave in and purchased a Playstation 4, and the newest installment of the Final Fantasy series, that has literally just been released.
I won’t wax poetic on the details of the game so far (I’ve only been able to invest forty-five minutes or so), but holy.
Gaming has come a long way since my first role-playing experience with the original Final Fantasy title in 1987, so much so that, truth be told, I’m a little bit lost in the game as I begin. That said, I have no doubt that I will “catch-up” as my play continues.
What’s amazing about games is that even when we fail, we feel like giving it another go. Much has been written about the “gaming effect,” but in many ways, at least for me, it boils down to simply being fun. It is hard to get bored of a great challenge, and even less likely when there are multiple pathways to reach an end result.
Our classes, schools, and districts, need to always operate under that idea. Simply, we need to make sure that it is next to impossible for learners to get bored. Whether it be through the engaging design, the open-world learning opportunities, the relevance and connection to what we’ve experienced in the past, great story and dialogue, or the ability to keep trying (in other words, there is no giving up), we owe it to the gamer in all of us to make sure that we are always prompted to hit the “Continue” button, and that we never put the game controller down.