Isn’t it probably one of the common tasks of parents and educators today to communicate with children through games? Today, games are popular and enjoyed by many people, and communication with children who enjoy games has been a topic that has been constantly raised for decades. Moreover, it is because the time has come when the generation who had trouble with their parents through games has come to think about how to communicate with their children through games as parents.
Geun-Young Jang, a senior researcher at the Korea Youth Policy Institute, who gave a lecture at the G-Star Game Committee workshop on the 19th, solved these concerns with the topic of ‘How to communicate with children through games’. Researcher Jang needs to understand the essence of ‘game’ before communicating. ‘Fun’ is the motive that drives the human instinct to play, and games are also a kind of play. Therefore, if we look at the question of “why do we play games?” from the perspective of ‘developmental psychology’, we can answer the question ‘because we have to play games to grow,’ as games are a kind of play.
Even in play, anyone can experience many things and learn something. Fun is one of the emotions you feel when you learn something. Therefore, growth is possible even in play, and games can be said to be fun games, so growth can be viewed as an activity.
Researcher Jang introduced the growth factors and the characteristics of the game that can be learned by dividing it into a game played alone, a multiplayer game, and an MMO game where a large number of people gather. By playing these games, children can learn how we normally learn and communicate in society.
A game played alone is practically a puzzle. Logic can be seen as a structure in which a simple and very simple game is nested several times. The secret to being good at playing alone is to overcome boredom. Anyone can become a master if they play 10,000 Galaxy, but they can’t do it because they’re bored. Nevertheless, you have to do it to become a master. In games played alone, this aspect is greatly emphasized.
In that sense, a game played alone is not a social activity, but a logical and mathematical activity. You can think of it as solving a puzzle against a computer. Through a game played alone, a person can develop basic self-confidence and self-efficacy, as well as patience and self-control.
Multiplayer games are games in which the opponent is a human being, and it is all the games we have played since ancient times. The overlap of simple principles is true, but it is not repetitive because the opponent is a human being. So, in order to play a multiplayer game well, you need to learn how to read the mind of the other person and change your perspective. In developmental psychology, this is called ‘perspective math ability’ and is the basis of all social life.
In particular, multiplayer games are less likely to be repeated, but wins and losses are always different. So you can feel a ‘defeat’, which is a strong motivation for growth. The sense of inferiority caused by a sense of defeat poses a great threat to the ego, so in order to do better on oneself, one is trained to analyze and make efforts to compensate for weaknesses. In this process, you can build ‘industriousness’, and depending on how well this is formed, you can become a hard-working child.
That’s why it’s very important to respect your opponent in multiplayer games. A ‘foul’ that can be won without effort is an element to be very wary of. In the right society, that’s why we teach ‘sportsmanship’ while teaching multiplayer. The pursuit of an honorable and worthwhile victory.
Of course, not everyone plays this kind of fair play, and as a result, you learn how to respond to fouls, but that’s not something the game directly teaches you. Of course, it is difficult for both teachers and parents. However, from the standpoint of an educator who has already grown up, as they have already experienced numerous fouls, they must have made their own countermeasures and can teach them.
An MMO game is a world of games in which multiple users repeatedly access and close the game. Based on a new reality, it is the beginning of the metaverse, but it is a sustainable world where there is no end and no win or loss, and all real social life is reflected. Honor, marriage, morale, power, values, personality differences, and cultural differences all exist. They simply do not engage in face-to-face social life. Almost all problems encountered in social life can be experienced in the same context.
If you want to be good at a game, you need to feel good while playing it. Just because you are good at the game doesn’t make you feel good, so life outside of the game is also good when you feel good. So in MMO games, you have to understand the people you meet in the game. Why does the author hate me, how to respond, and how to get to know the person I like, etc. All are equal issues with social life.
It is a matter of self, of others, and of society. Understanding whether your parents hate games is the same as understanding the problem in this context. Problems with games are complex and difficult to teach skills. Basically, it is difficult to adapt to both lifecycle and short-fashioned games.
However, social and cultural matters are the same as long as we are human beings. So you can guide these things. It will be able to tell you about the way you treat people you meet in the game, your attitude toward what happened in the game, your values, and the economy.
Games are not good for children, adults should learn from children. But you don’t have to know all of that. Children should be able to understand who the people they meet in the game are, the vocabulary used in the game, and the meaning and experience of the game itself. And we need to know how the power of collective intelligence works.
Conversation with a child who enjoys games can start with understanding, and what to teach can change depending on the nature of the game. But the most important thing is the ‘habit cycle’. Researcher Jang recommended that parents should be able to set and present sustainable goals and encourage their children to form good habits by asking them to logically and consistently habitually.