Gaming and the Government

5 Mar

gamingandgovblog According to the CNN article “Game for students aims to make Congress  serious fun” by John Gaudiosi, both violent video games and Congress have been “under fire” in the media.  McGraw Hill Education has created a game for college freshman government students that they are hoping will eliminate that attack from the media.  The new 3D game is called “Government in Action.”  It is meant to demonstrate the intricacies of the life of a U.S. representative.  In the beginning, the player is getting elected to the House of Representatives and has two years to get re-elected. Basically, the goal is to build up political capital, awareness, approval and influence in multiple ways. Players have to work with both national and local media,  hold fundraisers and find co-sponsors of bills, appease local and national lobbyists and align with their own political ideologies.  Professor Jason Seitz of Georgia Perimeter College said the game helped his students tie all of the concepts in his course together to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of the subject.

This is an example of learning the language and practices of the government through gaming.   There are several games that have attempted to stimulate and encourage learning about a certain subject.  What I like about this article and this particular game is what it has done for students.  It is developing a deeper understanding of the class content by creating a connection to “the real world” with hands-on (virtual) experience.  I have always thought that the subject matter I remember the most about and I am most comfortable with is that which I have experienced.  Experience is the best way to learn.  This game promotes “government literacy”,  an area where knowledge is often lacking and contains concepts that can be difficult to grasp.   It is also capable of being multiplayer and including other classmates in the “life” of the player (they can co-sponsor bills for example).   This way, other people can also aid in understanding government ideas.

If more video games were fun and educational and people were more knowledgable of government officials’ tasks, then maybe that negative light from the media would not exist.


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