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PIESER COM ESSAY - Derek Pieser Final Individual Essay...

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Derek Pieser Final Individual Essay Since their invention, video games have been very popular for the high level of entertainment that they provide to a broad audience. Now-a-days, video games have started to become not just a means of entertainment, but also a tool for education and training. I will examine how educational and training video games are being used in society today, what their benefits are over traditional schooling and training, and if these games actually improve their users in any way. I will also discuss how technological determinism applies to video games with the help of my team’s local media scholar, Alex Rubens. Currently, several companies and organizations are using video games as an interactive and safe way to train individuals. One of the largest examples of this is the United States Army distributing a video game, called America's Army, to help recruit new soldiers. In the game, players must complete training levels modeled after an army boot camp and learn first-aid techniques, names of weapons and vehicles, and basic combat procedures. The MITRE Corporation, a staffing firm, is also using video games as a tool for education by suggesting that all of their job seekers download their 3D video game (Lorenz, 2010). Players are drawn into a virtual environment, which gives them an understanding of the company’s campus, how the interview process works, and view examples of company projects (Lorenz, 2010). Some companies such as Multi-Systems, Inc. do not use their own branded video games but instead are remodeling their break rooms into gaming lounges (Lorenz, 2010). They claim that gaming provides healthy competition and helps employees “relieve stress, refocus, and avoid burnout” (Lorenz, 2010, 9). The assertion that video games improve education would be pointless if schools today weren’t using them to their advantage.
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In recent years, schools have begun to incorporate video games into their classroom curriculum as an aid for student education. Flight schools now use extremely realistic video game flight simulators to produce a life-like flying experience. This allows students get over one hundred hours of instruction in the simulators and can become proficient pilots before stepping foot in a real airplane (Christensen, 2009). Video games also provide added benefits that real life flight training cannot offer. For example, the simulators can be programmed to produce
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