Videogames as cultural devices: development of spatial skills and application in learning
Keywords:New technologies, videogames, education, didactic resources, spatial representation, types of videogames, rating systems, massmedia
A videogame is a cultural device with its own socializing functions, as stated by most of the media. The high levels of pleasure and enjoyment it gives players make it essential to analyse its potential as an educational tool, more so if there is an awareness of its value as a vehicle for personality development among young people. This paper tries to provide current examples of the wide range of videogames and their ability to develop certain skills related to the dynamic representation of space, within Jerome Bruner´s learning model. There is analysis of how adventure, strategy, simulation and role-playing games improve the development of skills such as reflection, strategic and tactical reasoning, or mental agility and economic challenges. Furthermore, data is provided on the present rating systems for game choice e.g.: ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) valid in the U.S.A, and PEGI, from the European Federation for Interactive Software. Both are accepted by aDeSe (Asociation for Distributors and Editors of Entertainment Software) and both try to help parents and teachers recognise its content and suitability for the different range of ages and profiles. To sum up, the essay attempts to show the importance of videogames in the teaching-learning process by providing up-to-date examples..