Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LWF11 - David Yarnton, General Manager, Nintendo UK

Why shouldn't learning be fun?

Speaker talked about how he was a athletics coach - specifically throwing activities such as javelin, shot put etc. Sometimes he would get children to throw wet sponges and have water fights to practice their throwing skills.

Long history of computer games - first patent filed in 1940's based on radar displays. Speaker suggested that the iPhone was originally conceived as a games machine. Went on to talk about using different machines for different purposes - no one machine can do everything.

Games are good for us: socially, culturally and economically. Image of gamer as socially isolated, spotty-faced, teenage boys is outdated (if it ever had any truth). Statistic - 60% of Wii users are female. Target audience for Wii was aged 6-60 but know there are people much older and younger using games machines.

Fun centres in children's hospitals with video games. They found that children talked to each other more because of the games area and that they recovered faster. Similarly, they found hospitals for service personnel - service people completing on Wii Fit recovered faster than others using state of the art fitness equipment.

Games are a great way to develop pupils because they don't realise they are learning. One pupils said, "The learning is in my hands."

Games in learning are often complimentary rather than a replacement for other activities.

Good cartoon to finish with that took six panels to describe an accident caused while a child's grandfather was playing computer game that resulted in the house being burnt down. Great detail was given of sequence of events that led to the disaster. Punchline in final frame was comment from the child who had been listening: "Amazing! Someone over sixty playing a video game? Alert the media!" ... Well it amused me!

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