Opinions and Culture

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain?

Jayne Gackenbach Ph.D.

VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Constructive and Cooperative Gaming

Dr. Amy Bruckman is interviewed this time. She is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She and her students in the Electronic Learning Communities research group, do research about online communities and education. Listeners will find this conversation quite helpful as it will introduce how gaming can be cooperative and constructive yet is not a panacea for all educational needs. As a mother herself of two young boys, Dr. Bruckman talks about her children’s experience with “Minecraft”. She notes that while amazingly creative things are possible in virtual worlds such as Second Life, ordinary people don’t normally have those skills. Yet there are many types of games and software where creative construction is possible. You’ll learn that these constructive online experiences, which are often cooperative, whether in a game or simply as a play space online, offer learning opportunities.