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WEEK 13.

GAMING

Your name: Natalie Weston

Game (indicate the name + web link if applicable):

The Sims (FreePlay)- downloaded it on the app store

In which subject area/content would you use this game?

I would use this game for older students as a life simulator game. I think that this would be an effective yet
fun way for students to learn how to make friends, have a job, budget their money and take care of
themselves. This could be applicable to a teen health or life course as well.

In the article youve read for this week, the authors describe two emergent groups of
psychological and physiological effects that games can claim. Each of these two
categories have sub-categories, such as practical skills, cognitive skills, motivation, or
social skills. Some of these can be either positive or negative. Based on the graph on
p.37, evaluate the claims of the game you chose in relation to its effects on learning.
(please note that there is no right or wrong answer, as long as your explanation is
justified).

GAME CLAIMS: Psychological or Physiological? (indicate which category you think your game fits in.
Justify using information from the article and examples from the game itself):

The Sims fits into the psychological category. The sims fits into this category because it includes practical
skills like budgeting money, meeting people, maintaining a job, taking care of a home and family etc. Social
skills are also a main component in The Sims because you live in a town and have neighbors that you can
choose to interact with and make friends with but if you do not, you will be very alone in the town and not
be invited to events or have friends. The Sims main focus is role playing which is a large component of the
Pyschological scheme of gaming. The Sims game has the player develop practical skills in order to
advance in the game. According to the article, practical skills are referred to as learning in games that
contribute directly to the development of skills that are applicable to the real world or authentic settings
(pg 36). The Sims has the player practice various practical and cognitive skills throughout the entire course
of the game.

GAME CLAIMS: Subcategories? (pick at least one subcategory that your game relates to. Justify using
information from the article and examples from the game itself):

I think that the subcategory that The Sims majorly relates to is the subcategory Motivation. The category
of motivation is based on motivational principles for empowering learners, including the ability to grant
power, autonomy, and challenge at a players level and implications for learners identity (pg 37). The
Sims has the players make decisions by themselves which exercises the players autonomy, and also has
the player complete certain tasks in order to further their character in the game. For example, the player
has to figure out how to build their own home before they are able to furnish it and they need to then make
money in order to furnish it how they would like (tasks that all require motivation and autonomy). The
article also speaks about games providing the player with clear and immediate feedback, and give players
choice and control over their actions (pg 37) which are all exercised within The Sims. In the game, if
players speak to another character or interact with another character, immediate feedback is given when
the other character shows their emotions or reacts in a certain way. Also, options are always provided to
players throughout the game giving them options of what they can do.

GAME GENRE (explain which genre your game fits in: action, fighting, role-playing, simulation, strategy,
rhythm/dance, parlor, adventure, sports, and platform games. Justify using information from the article and
examples from the game itself):

I think that although The Sims could fit into multiple different genres, it fits into simulation the best. The
Sims focuses on real life things like building relationships with other characters, building and furnishing a
house, holding a job, raising a child, taking care of yourself, and being an active member of a community.
The article states that video game playing empowers players in a way that translates into real-world
activism (Williams, 2004). The sims definitely empowers its players in a way that can be translated into
real-world activism because it makes players make decisions and also shows them the consequences or
rewards of those decisions, which many other video games do not do. The Sims has players play the
game as a real person and make real world choices which is why I think that it fits into the simulation
genre best.

CONTENT: Describe how you would use the game in your classroom:

I think that The Sims would be a great game to use in the classroom. The Sims uses many different types
of life management skills like budgeting money, managing a home and family, and participating in a
community setting. Natural disasters also occur in The Sims game which teaches students how to deal
with tragedy and disaster. The Sims focuses on many concepts that Social Studies also focuses on. I think
that The Sims could be a great simulation game for students to play when learning about economics or
civics when they are a bit older. Also as stated previously, The Sims has the players practice motivation
skills and according to the article simulator games can help in the development of all intellectual abilities
and a mind for machines (De Aguleria & Mendiz, 2003, pg 11).
Participation points: Based on the articles discussion on p.42-43, provide a brief analysis of the game
you chose from a TPACK perspective (remember that TPACK is about your knowledge as a teacher. In this
case, explain how using this game brings together your technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge,
and content knowledge).

The Sims game is a great example of a game that combines technological knowledge, pedagogical
knowledge, and content knowledge together in order to increase the motivation of students in a classroom
and make it accessible to students at the same time. The content knowledge of The Sims focuses mainly
on social studies and real life aspects, the pedagogical knowledge of The Sims focuses on the tasks in the
game that students have to use tools in the game to complete (the how). The technological knowledge of
The Sims is the actual game itself and the digital game which students use to put all of their skills to the
test, including their pedagogical knowledge.