This was a very intriguing experience for me because I have never used any form of gaming as a part of my education before. Although I am not very familiar or interested in video games, I enjoyed playing the three games we were assigned for class as well as the game that I found myself.
The game that I selected is called Microscopya. It was available on a regular browser, google play, the apple store, etc. I chose to download the app on my phone and also play it on my computer to see if I could find many differences. It was definitely different to play because with one I was using my curser and with the other pressing buttons on my phone. Aside from that, I did not notice anything major. This game was entertaining because I got to set up my own character and customize it to whatever I wanted. It puts your character right in the center of a cell and you get to explore it for yourself. There are different tasks to get you to the end. For example, the first task was to find the entrance to the mitochondria. Even if I did not know exactly what it looked like, my interactive character could walk around until I was able to find it. You can move some things around as well and the app explains where you are at and what you are doing. It gave me a better grasp about the parts of a cell as a whole without feeling too frustrated or feeling that it was too easy. I had fun and I felt that I learned something new.
In our reading Mind Shift: Guide to Digital Games and Learning, the authors discuss
“The most convincing neurological research shows that video games contribute to neural plasticity because games provide ‘a multitude of complex motor and cognitive demands’” (Shapiro 8). I found this outstanding because video games are typically not associated with intellect or brain development. Infact, before reading this article I had associated it with the opposite. This opens a world of possibilities in the classroom. Many students are interested in gaming so this may appeal to them. This is certainly something that I will consider in my future teaching career.
All in all I enjoyed playing this game. I think this would be a perfect game to include in a middle school science classroom. However, as a future English teacher I would be curious to look more into games that relate to the books that I will be reading. One idea that comes to mind is buzzfeed quizzes. It may be fun for my students to take the “what character are you?” quiz. There are some interactive games for some of the bigger texts like Harry Potter, but I am not sure what materials I could find for some lesser known texts or the classics that I will likely be teaching.