11/23-From visual simulation to virtual reality to games- Julia Duchossois

In From visual simulation to virtual reality to games, Michale Zyda talks about the development of video games and the potential for them to be used beyond their original purposes.

To begin, Zyda explains the process behind developing a video game, arguing that successful developers create agendas that also support similar organizations and benefit the entertainment industry. Zyda also talks about some of the challenges in game development, including slow production times and the need for niche entertainment. An important portion of the article discusses game designs for different agendas, for example cognitive game designs and “serious games” (games not intended for entertainment). Overall, Zyda argues that developers have the potential to impact not just entertainment but also things like education, training, simulation and beyond.

One section that I found particularly interesting was the discussion about the America Army game in which kids learned everything about the Army through playing a video game. This opens discussion for other ways we could put valuable information into entertainment for kids, including educational tools or helpful skills. Overall, I find Zyda’s argument valid, despite the topic being something that goes over my head at times. As a kid, my younger brother played video games often, and he has mentioned that he found it easier to learn to drive because of the reaction time training that he accidentally developed through playing video games. This makes me wonder what some further applications and trainings could be taught via entertaining platforms in the future.

3 thoughts on “11/23-From visual simulation to virtual reality to games- Julia Duchossois

  1. This post reminded me of something I read about a while back called the Super Mario Effect, which is a theory that suggests users can learn a bunch of skills through simply playing a video game. For example, when you first start Super Mario Bros there are no instructions or tips, you just start running. Almost immediately you have to jump on a block to get over it(learning how to jump), then you hit a mushroom guy and die(learning they are dangerous), then you hit a block above your head and a coin pops out(leaning you gain points from that). So, because of that theory, I also think there is a lot of potential in video games that can certainly gain ground over traditional education.

  2. Julia, I really enjoyed reading your summary of this article. I also find it fascinating to think about how entertainment options can be translated into educational and helpful tools. Specifically, it is interesting to learn about the useful skills that were learned accidentally, such as your brother developing faster reaction times when driving from playing video games. I definitely see this with my siblings as well. Specifically, my 10-year-old sister can now type faster than anyone in her class since she uses her keyboard so much to play games. Overall, it is really cool to look at the development of potential useful skills and tools that can be picked up as a result of technological devices.

  3. Hi Julia, I read the same article and asked the same question myself. I wonder what other applications these types of serious games can be used for. When reading this article, it reminded me of when college students I know, studying to become a nurse or doctor, had to use these types of educational games to supplement coursework they lost due to the pandemic. For example, they’d have to play games in which they diagnose characters or perform surgery on them. These types of games were essential during the pandemic and are only becoming more prevalent, I believe.

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