Scholarly Critique #6

Kids’ Gaming makes up nearly 8% of the mobile game spending worldwide.

Jeff Grubb August 18, 2015    http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/18/kids-gaming-makes-up-nearly-8-of-mobile-game-spending-worldwide/

  1. Why were you interested in this article or study? In other words, why did you select this reading as a reflection of your own interest-driven learning?

We have been talking about Education and are now moving into Mobile discussions in the UCD class. I was really interested in learning more about the numbers as that is something I like to share with my student teachers. When teachers understand how the game developers think and profit then they will be able to be more successful in understanding how they can use the different tech experiences that children have into learning experiences in the classroom.

  1. How does the author (or authors) conceptualize learning, and what evidence is provided to substantiate the relationship between games and learning? Alternatively, what evidence is missing that fails to address the relationship between games and learning?

This article was more about data and trends which is  what drew me in. What is the data showing compared to what we might think it would be. The author pulled his information from www.superdataresearch.com.

  1. What are the social dimensions of game play, and how do social relations contribute to either individual or collective learning?

This article discussed how parents are viewing game play for younger children. Their focus being on a one time purchase compared to the Free games. Part of the authors reasoning why this is happening is that parents feel more comfortable with spending the money up front and then allowing for the child to play as much as they want without the pressure to purchase extra’s in order to progress in the game. Also mentioned was the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which limits the data the game companies can college on children who are younger than 13. Yet, I wonder how many games on mobile devices are being played by young children where the data is still being collected as if they were an adult. Without a prompt that asks ‘put in the year you were born’ I believe that there is a considerable amount of data being collected that probably should not be.

Which then leads me to the issue of teachers using different mobile games in classroom learning. How would a teacher find out whether the game is COPPA compliant? If it was not would the teacher/school be liable for using that game in a learning environment without the parents direct permission? Would the parents even know that COPPA exists? So many questions when you are working with young children and need to protect their identity and use of the technology.

  1. What tools – whether digital, material, or conceptual – contribute to game play, and how do tools contribute to either individual or collective learning?

This article strictly discussed digital. Though it would be interesting to see where there is overlap with some games also being available in real world. Example: Simon Says – there is a digital game along with the physical game that you can purchase. My though being that if children play the physical game does it later lead into them wanting to explore the digital one because it allows the freedom to take the game anywhere and also ease of use. I have to admit that I enjoy my cribbage game on my computer because I do not have to drag around a board and cards where ever I go. When I have some wait time I can just get out my phone and enjoy a game. Then pause and restart at my leisure. That is another piece of data that would be interesting to extrapolate, how many of the games for children under 13 that are purchased have the ability to connect to others or are the majority stand alone.

Initially I was surprised about the amount of money that is spent for in-app purchases. Then I reflected on some of the people that I know play games like Candy Crush. One person spent over $500 over the course of just a few months in order to level up. So the article makes sense when talking about how parents are choosing to spend the money upfront to pay for a game instead of allowing their children access to games that encourage the player to spend ‘just .99 cents’ in order to continue playing or level up.

I really want to explore this Super Data Research more. It could be a useful resource for my students when they go into the teaching field to see what the trends are and how they can use this information to improve their classroom. Also to inform parents as they are the one’s most likely to be providing the majority of the children’s tech gaming experiences.

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