Video Games might be more helpful than you think

These days, I don’t really feel like testing new programs, installing new OSes, or fixing computer problems (hence yesterday’s post). There are quite a few things that I read while browsing the internets and I would like to share with all of you here.

Today for example, I want to tell you about a very brave little boy from Norway, that rescued his sister when she was attacked by a moose. That’s right, little Hans, 12 years old, fearlessly (not true but I have to be poetic here, bear with it), threw himself in front of the huge beast and…

…paused for a moment, most likely reflected upon the possibility of his termination, and effectively used all the skills he had acquired from World of Warcraft, to defeat his foe. No, dear reader, I am neither drunk nor pulling tricks on you. What you just read is true (although a bit stretched).

Hans Jørgen Olsen used taunt at first, to draw the attention of the moose and after the moose started to chase him he used feign death, another skill that appears in WoW (amongst other games). The moose lost interest in the boy and wandered off, so Hans returned home a hero, with a perfect weapon against his mother, when she would tell him to quit playing and go to bed.

The incident has been flying around the webs, posted and re-posted and I’ve been reading all sorts of comments.

Between you and me, I find it a bit stretched as I said above. I mean, people attacked by bears, lions, rattlesnakes, Chuck Norris, have been feigning death (or playing dead as it is more commonly known) for hundreds of years. It’s not really that big of a deal. The act it self  is not something great. Don’t get me wrong, if it were me, you would have probably smelled ti, cause I would have shit my pants, but a lot of people do things like it, even at Hans’ age.

What I find important here, is the fact that the boy *remembered* certain tactics he used while playing a video game and used the same tactics in real life. Can anyone argue that this hobby of his, a hobby mind you that a lot of people are against, proved to be useful? See, when you talk about the educational value of a video game, you usually refer to titles designed to be educational, but now, we have a case that a game designed only to entertain the user (and make Blizzard rich in the process), offered a piece of knowledge, a skill if you prefer, that was used under real life conditions.

It will be very interesting, to see whether following this case, there will be new studies, trying to relate gaming skills to real life skills and maybe people will start to dim video games as less useless (at least some of them).

PS: Yes, it’s Lumpy from Happy Tree Friends 😛

(Via : Next Nature)

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June 2010
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