Could you save the world this summer? Discover a new civilization? Or even explore the universe first hand?
We know you can!
Summer is here and it is time to keep the learning going! Summer reading lists are being circulated now with carefully chosen books to support reading gains over the concluding school year and a stepping stone for opening discussions at the beginning of school in the fall. There can be a significant amount of down time in the summer for children which is the main reason why summer reading lists have become a part of our summers today. We encourage students to read all summer long but also, don’t neglect to curate your own summer gaming list too!
Picture this: A child seated by himself reading a book under a tree’s shade on a hot summer day. A hundred feet away, under the shade of another tree, is another child seated by herself playing a video game on a tablet. In Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson argues that there is an inherent bias in promoting the reader’s activity as enrichment while deriding the gamer’s activity as wasting time.
They are both seated by themselves engrossed in other worlds. But one is more acceptable than the other. Johnson argues that we need to be open to changing the bias against video games.
A good reader will be actively reading by predicting what comes next, recognizing foreshadowing, but they will always be responding to a fixed narrative. Whereas the video game player is making decisions that impact the outcome of the game, accomplishing short term and long term goals, and depending on the game, may very well be interacting with other players in creating and reimagining the world in which they inhabit. Johnson argues that this may potentially be more intellectually rigorous…but it all depends on the content and the structure of the game.
This summer, read through that reading list, enjoy those summer evenings of staying up late and reading by flashlight and exploring new worlds. We also encourage you to grab a video game that is educational and enriching and one that will engage your mind on multiple levels. Who knows you very well may discover a new home for humanity, discover a new civilization or explore planets you never knew existed!
We here at Dig it™ are proud of our library of educational games that we encourage you to add some or our games to your summer gaming list! Looking for more games? Check out the library of games hosted by Games for Change.
Finally, if you are looking for another book to add to your reading this summer, why not pick up Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. We bet it will start some interesting conversations as well!