This week I was introduced to Video Game creation in my multimedia class. As soon as I read the assignment for this week, I panicked: "Students will be creating a 5 level video game using Gamestar Mechanic". Wow, I thought. This is going to be challenging. That was an understatement. In order to be able to publish a game in Gamestar Mechanic you have to complete 5 different missions with multiple levels each. Well, here I go, how difficult can it be to play video games? What's all this fuzz about video games?!
I am not a game video game player. I am not that old but let's say that PacMan and Mario Brothers were a must when I was growing up. I tried video games and I was never proficient at them. Since I did not experience success, I quit. I saw no purpose. Well, my opinion about video games has changed. There is actually a set of skills, knowledge, and abilities required to be successful at playing video games. My 12 year old summarized it: I told him I was frustrated because the evil spirits were too fast and my avatars were getting killed. "They are too fast", I said. My son responded: "Mom, I think you are too slow!" He is right. I am officially considered a digital immigrant. I have a digital accent- there are certain skills I lack and in regards to video games, and just like with spoken language, there are certain sounds my tongue just can't and won't pronounce right. My digital accent in video game playing is my inability to quickly do eye- hand coordination motions to achieve proficiency in gaming.
How is this important in technology integration? It seems to me that in the 21st century, it is important for teachers to remember who we are in the digital world. Don't force it. Approach technology with lots of practice, practice, practice. Be willing to recognize that you have a digital accent and others will notice that you are not a native. Accept with pride that there will be things you will not do right and that others might have a hard time understanding your point or your frustration. Nevertheless, just like when speaking a foreign language, accents are beautiful and identify you for who you are. Admit when you need help from others and don't take the corrections or feedback too personal. Integrate technology to the best of your abilities and show grit. Keep at it and have fun in the process!