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Children can learn more than you think by playing computer games
12:00pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Letters
Your front-page story about schoolchildren playing video games offers no surprises (The Argus, February 11).
There seems to have been no attempt to understand the reasons people play games; one could easily interview any of the hundreds of game designers based in Brighton, contributing to a lively £100 billion industry, or speak to any of the thousands of young people who build strong and creative communities around virtual worlds.
Your publication consulted the usual mix of psychologists, parents and irrelevant educators who all exhibit a bizarre and long-outdated fixation with blind obedience.
When I was younger, I fell asleep in school, as students have been doing for centuries.
What was significant, however, was that through a library of second-hand games I developed a familiarity with world history, architecture and narrative structures.
Through creating my own games and modifications, I became a better writer, learned computer code, music theory and graphic design.
As a teenager, games lost some of their allure (forbid your kids something, though, and it becomes infinitely desirable).
Building on some of the same skills, I started a few bands, worked a range of part-time jobs and studied philosophy, which has always supported a game-like mode of thought since the first riddles.
I teach computer game design now – the students I teach actively love what they study. We work through complex themes in metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics and I have yet to have one fall asleep on me. And if they do it’s my fault, not theirs.
Alex Casper Cline, graduate of the University of Sussex
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