Value in Gaming

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The day my infantry soldiers and I landed on the beaches of Normandy is a day I shall never forget. My hands were shaking and my ears ringing with the sounds of angered pain. I nearly drowned as I climbed over the side of our death trap beach lander and plummeted into the murky crimson waters of taken land. The weight of my gun and field pack held me solid on the shifting floor beneath me and I fought with every shifting bend of my frame to release the hold the weight had on me. I do remember it was quiet under the surface, much quieter than the howling of war that raged above. With the last gasp of air in my lungs I pulled myself onto the beach and found whatever I could to hastily construct protection from those who brandished ill will.

The story above is an excerpt of my time as a OS officer during my tour while playing Medal of Honor Rising Sun. It is a retelling of my experience playing the game. I know it is just a game however, much like reading a good book its message had an impact on my actual life experience.  I would never have been able to have had the experience of the beach landing just watching it via propaganda videos. While playing the game the controller shook and vibrated while the digital surround sound added to the auditory experience captivating my senses. I even felt connected to my fellow virtual soldiers and made sure to keep them safe.

As my years of life have progressed I no longer seem to have time to save the world but I will never forget the time I spent trying. Gaming has value for me in every sense of the meaning and authenticity to actual events both positive and negative is required for true impact within the experience. There are definite concerns as to age appropriateness of games but this can be alleviated by matching games to curriculum standards. If a high school student can watch Schindler List they should also have the opportunity to play a WWII first person game.

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