1-2 | Good Video Games + Good Learning: Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning, and Literacy

Book Review

Good Video Games + Good Learning: Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning, and Literacy

James Paul Gee
New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc., 2007. vi, 194 pp. $29.95 paper. ISBN: 9780820497037

"Don't Bother Me Mom—I'm Learning!": How Computer and Video Games Are Preparing Your Kids for Twenty–first Century Success—and How You Can Help!

Marc Prensky
St Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2006. xxi, 254 pp. $15.99 paper. ISBN: 1557788588

Imagination and Play in the Electronic Age

Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Illustrations. 201 pp. $18.95 paper. ISBN: 0674017455

by Barrie Gunter

First Paragraph:

As the complexity, production quality, and popularity of electronic games have evolved, public concern about their impact on those who play with them has become increasingly vociferous. Much of this attention has been directed towards children, as always when the subject concerns popular media forms. Many of the anxieties associated with the alleged effects of television have been transferred to computer and video games, not least because so many of them have violent themes. The widespread use of self-contained electronic games, which can be bought off the shelf from major retail outlets, and the growing popularity of online games, which engage multiple players in real time, have drawn not just the usual lobby groups but even national governments into the debate about whether these games are good or bad for our children. Much of the concern stems from the fact that, in playing these games, children enter a realm where they know more than their parents. As a result, parents often feel they lack the competence to effectively monitor their children's behavior and therefore to know for sure whether they are at risk.