Deconstructing Donkey Kong
Jordan Shapiro challenges parents, teachers, and academics to train their children and/or students to think critically about video games as you would a text. This is a good admonition which may help parents and educators to teach higher order thinking skills to a generation in desperate need of these skills.
“Most importantly, when I talk to my kids about a video game, I’m teaching them that after they get lost in the experience of game play, they should also stop, back-up, and think about the game as if it were a text. Hopefully, in the long term, my kids will learn to think critically about the underlying messages in commercial games and how we might use video games for their ability to provoke conversation.
This is not just about kids. In my opinion, there is far too little critical examination of video games happening even among adults, especially in academia.
Video games represent a shift in the way we construct narrative. Video games might be the new mythology. I personally believe that with video games, we are writing what will eventually become scripture in the hyper-connected centuries to come.
I’m troubled when I consider how few of the brilliant academic thinkers in the humanities are forcing us to ask difficult questions about the kinds of stories we want to tell through video games specifically. These video games are shaping the next generation. These video games are teaching them how to think about the world, how to make meaning. And we’re letting it happen by accident. That’s crazy.”
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