Gaming Builds Valuable Life Skills


By Tamara Fyke


As someone dedicated to the well-being of children, you know the constant struggle between screens and real life as well as I do.  Like you, I have guidelines for my classes and my home about screen use.  However, what I continually explore is the connection between technology and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  Please notice that I did not say EdTech.  That was intentional.

Although my daughter is an avid user of her devices, mostly watching Netflix or creating TikToks, my two sons are the dedicated gamers in the family.  I have had countless occasions to observe their gaming activity, and what I’ve seen is deep practice of SEL skills. 

When I was in graduate school at Vanderbilt University, I studied digital learning with an emphasis on gaming for learning.  Fascinated by the work of James Gee and Jane McGonigal, I explored these questions:  What makes a good game?   What life skills can be taught and learned in a gaming environment?  How do gaming and real life intersect? 

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