Video games: harmful or not?

Games have become an important part of our lives. We see them on phones, tablets, computers and TV’s. The games industry is now bigger than the movie industry, in the UK the video game industry took four times more than cinema box office in 2009 and the industry is still growing with 87% of households owning a games console in 2013. The question is, are games good for us or harmful to us? This presentation looks at two key areas within this question, video game addiction and the learning opportunities within games.

Want to know more? We’ve put together a short list of blogs, websites and videos which examine more closely some of the topics discussed in this presentation.

In this TED talk Jane McGonigal looks at how Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how. Jane McGonigal also has a website where you can find all of her videos and more about her research 

The PBS Ideas Channel on YouTube has a wide variety of videos looking at topics such as ‘Controlling vs “Being” your video game avatar’ and ‘Does Animal Crossing Promote Otaku Citizenship?’

‘The Game Learning Society delves into how videogames capture our imaginations, how their power can be used to transform learning and what this engaging medium means for society.’

In this video from Big Think, John Seely Brown discusses how World of Warcraft could save your business and the economy.

Minecraft has become a phenomenon in the gaming world, not only for the hours lost in mining, growing, building and designing, but it is now being used in classrooms to teach a variety of subjects in a fun and engaging manner. To find out more visit the official Minecraft EDU website, the Wikipedia article on Minecraft which explains more about the history of the game and it’s uses by the United Nations and how a scale model of Denmark was designed. In the last link the Edublogger brings together his thoughts on Minecraft in schools.

Do video games really cause violence? Find out about some of the problems of research in this area in this video.

Find out more about the historical accuracies in Assassins Creed 2 in this Buzz Feed article.

Presentation time: 
Thursday, 3 July, 2014 - 15:00

Brendan Lavery

I am an OU student and I currently studying DD307, which I am enjoying very much, this is my final module towards my psychology degree. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying with the OU, and am truly thankful that I have the opportunity to obtain a degree, which was previously out of reach, the ability to work and study par time made it possible. As this is my final module and officially coming close to the end of my OU experience I think I will struggle fill my time now.

Harleyjack Muckell

Harleyjack Muckell lives in South Wales and is currently a second year, full-time student on a Politics, Philosophy, Economics degree. Initially starting with the OU to get a taste of university while in school, he decided that the OU was for him and went full-time. Currently on DD209 (Economics) and A222 (Philosophy), he is moving on to DD306 (Politics) and DD209 (Economics) in the next academic year. His favorite aspect of his degree relate to views on the size of the state. When he is not studying he can usually be found playing video games, watching films, cycling and reading.