Last Wednesday I was listening to professor Henry Jenkins who gave a talk at the Aula Club, Korjaamo . His presentation was about computer games as a learning environment. Among other things, Jenkins pointed out that by enabling experimentation, risk-taking, failing and playing out consequences, games can actually offer us a much richer environment for learning than the ordinary social environment where failure means humiliation and risk taking can lead to punishment.
Personally, I haven’t been into computer games at all. Always with something else to do, I have considered them as a waste of time.
However, last April I bought my first sort-of-game from the Apple Store in Palo Alto. It was called “Learn Chinese”. It was terrible boring and I did not learn Chinese. Anyway, as an opening to the world of serious games, it was an important purchase.
In the summer I found another game, which was much more fun: the interactive dance mat. Although the music was lousy, I have to admit that me and Jyri had fun hopping and jumping, tying to follow the fast moving arrows on the screen. Neither in this time did I learn anything (that has to do with dancing), but at least it had the “sharing fun” element.
Inspired by professor Jenkins' talk I started thinking what would be the kind of game I would buy and play. Here is a suggestion: "The HobbyFashion"
“In HobbyFashion you can travel through time and learn about different traditions, techniques and production methods of the fashion industry. You will get tips and instructions for designing outfits. You can also create your own design portfolio and share your best hobbyfashion ideas with your friends.”
- Won’t sell, Professor Jenkins would say.
- Could you get any killing into it?
Ok. How about "The HobbyWorld"?
“ In HobbyWorld you help the HobbyQueen and her HobbySister army to fight the Master Evilbrand and rescue the world from a mysterious “PCSB –spell. With the help of the fairy United, which only appears when the Master Evilbrand sleeps, you must create a strategy to find and eliminate the hidden sweatshops where little people of the Sewing Land have turned into human robots. In order to do that you must be smart. The Dark Ally watches every move you make. To break the spell that threatens to depress the world you must travel through centuries to find the long forgotten HobbyTools that have magic powers. Little people give you clues. If you are successful, the HobbyQueen rewards you generously.”
-Bollywood might be interested.