Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Gaming and Teamwork
I find it really hard to understand why gaming in the US carries the stigma that it does. From my parents' reactions to my gaming when I was young to comments in class about the value of gaming as an academic discipline, I don't really understand why people dislike seeing gaming as anything but a waste of time.
Slashdot always has interesting articles on gaming, and I find it interesting that scientists are asking for funding to look at gaming. Annoying, however, is the distinction that the scientists draw in the difference between educational games and entertaining games. Given that they cite team building as a potential benefit of gaming, I find it hard to believe that they would disregard games such as Counterstrike or Starcraft (which are undoubtedly built solely for pleasure) as educational.
Some of the tightest and most coordinated team play I've ever seen has come from highly competitive Counterstrike teams. Even more than many sports teams I've played for, there is no room for ego in these groups. Strategies are discovered and agreed upon, and teammates move in precision adherence to the plan with room for improvisation extremely restricted. And they're happy about it â€“ there are very few situations outside the military in which I've seen such dedicated teamwork.
So why the differentiation between educational and for pleasure? Is there such a difference?