“Electronic Games: 2D or not 2D?” by Ziemek

  • ©Tina Ziemek




    Electronic Games: 2D or not 2D?



    Although popular culture does little to support children’s mathematical learning, electronic games may be an exception [Rubin et al. 1997]. Video games are versatile; they can be didactic and a positive motivating force for adolescents. Video games could be used as a teaching tool in one’s home as well as in schools, and give middle-school-aged girls confidence and motivation to learn about science and technology [Inkpen et al. 1994]. In spite of these notions it seems the majority of female youth do not play video games regularly, if at all [IDSA 2001].

    Unfortunately, the media depicts video games as negative stimuli that often contain little substance [Aguilera and Mendiz 2003]. Misconceptions have led politicians, many media professionals and critics to blame video games for the growth of a culture of violence [Aguilera and Mendiz 2003; IDSA 2001]. Perhaps stereotypes of video games hinder females from being part of the video game market, as 81 percent of video-game players are male. These stereotypes may also prevent video games from being welcomed in most classrooms [Inkpen et al. 1994].

    Schools play a vital role in our society, and it is important for educators to adapt to the digital culture that now surrounds us. Specifically middle school students, whom hereafter I will refer to as students, no longer use slide rule, are bored by textbooks, but must have a calculator. Students need more technology in the classroom to compete with that which they know lays outside of the classroom. In this day and age working with computer technology such as Lego Mindstorms Robots is appealing to students who were raised on Sony PlayStations. Dr. James Paul Gee, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarded video games as often having “a greater potential than much learning in school” [ESA 2003].


    I would like to thank Alyn Rockwood for all of his help, suggestions, and insight, and Maria Klawe for her inspiration and contributions to this research.


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