I have chosen to dig deeper into the article “Virtual Curriculum: Digital Games as Technologies of Aesthetic Experience and Potential Spaces” by Chloe Brushwood Rose. The purpose of this article from the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies investigates what can be learned while playing digital games. Young people invest significant amounts of time engaging with this form of media, and we have long been watchful of the effects that digital games have on our youth. Though many people hypothesize negative outcomes, Chloe Rose advocates for the journey-centered approach that digital games use. Games like realMYST have made an environment where the process is more rewarding than the product. While this is in contrast with curriculum’s product-oriented style, if we truly aim to prepare students for life we must consider the asset that digital games can be.
Schools have a history of deteriorating popular culture. Schools attempt to engage their students by bringing their fascinations into the classroom and adapting them to fit with curriculum. Chloe discusses how this will quickly lessen the motivation that adolescents once had to play it. She digs into what some theories of play are and argues that once play has an objective, the desire to engage with it disintegrates. By trying to fit the games into the learning outcomes teachers are, “undermining the… cultural and imaginative possibilities” (p. 98) of that game. Chloe asks that readers understand the learning opportunities that the game intrinsically holds by allowing students to work through challenges with no consequence of mistakes. The players are given the opportunity to ‘learn how to learn’ (p. 99) through problem solving and experiencing conditions that hard to come by. For this free participation to be possible the game must make players feel as though they are both fully immersed in the game, yet maintain an understanding that it is a fictional experience. The game must persuade the players that they need to respond as if it were real, in order for the learning experience to be optimal. You cannot create a persuasive story line if the games’ priority is to hit all the outcomes of the curriculum. So we find ourselves conflicted whether the experience of experiential learning is valuable enough to put product-oriented curriculum on hold.
To continue with this investigation on the place of virtual games in curriculum I would like to dig in farther to what other scholars view virtual gaming as. If I can find two articles which take opposing perspectives, I would like to find some truth about this topic. What can everyone agree on, if anything? I would also like to take more time looking at the different thoughts on play discussed in this chapter. I would also like to briefly examine Object-Relations Theory and Aesthetic Experience, as it was referenced in this article regularly.
Article: https://jcacs.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jcacs/article/ viewFile/16998/15800