Meet Our Staff!

In this new series, we are introducing our audience to the Learningworks Live team! Each post will introduce you to a new member of our team and provide you with some insight into their teaching style, the classes they offer, and their passion for education and video gaming. For more information on our complete course listings, please visit us at our Outschool page. And to see some of our videographers’ amazing work, head over to our Let’s Play channel here


This Month’s Featured Staff Member: J.R. Meek (Videographer)

What do you like most about playing video games?

What I like most about playing video games is that I can sit back and enjoy playing them, be entertained by the engaging stories and amazing gameplay, and just have fun without any stress involved (or at least have “fun” stress when playing).

When did you start playing video games?

I started playing video games when I was 7 years old. Essentially, two-thirds of my life was devoted to video games. I even remember my first game too. It was called, “Star Wars: Battlefront” back in 2005 on the original Xbox.

What types of games do you enjoy the most (genres, titles, platform etc.)

The types of games I enjoy the most are single-player games, sometimes multi-player games.  Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action-Adventure, and RPG genres are my favorite to play. I mostly love to play these games on my Playstation console. My favorite titles are Mass Effect Trilogy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Divinity: Original Sin 2.

What types of games do you find the most challenging and why?

Puzzle-type and Strategy games I find to be most challenging to me. The reason is I sometimes get lost as to what my next move should be or wondering why the puzzle isn’t solved with the approach I’m taking. I have to take a step back and re-think on what I’m doing wrong, what I can do differently to reach my desired outcome, or a different approach to solving the problem.

Can you tell us what have you learned by playing video games?

I have learned about how to approach problems in different ways, rather than use the same solution for all games. I learned patience and thinking creatively when being pressured to get tasks done on time. I learned time-management and how to effectively finish my tasks in allotted amount of time.

Strangely enough, I’ve learned more about math in video games than I ever did in a classroom. Especially in strategy and shooter games where I have to keep an eye on the amount of ammo, soldiers and their well-being, and the status of my base. If I don’t track of those functions, including in strategy games where it is critical, I would be in a lot of trouble.

I have [also] learned about social emotional skills through games. In particular, I’ve learned to control my frustration and anger when I’m losing and instead focus on the flaws of my gameplay, understanding what I’m doing wrong, not why I’m not winning. I’ve learned collaboration through zombie games and working with teams. Alone, I will probably die without support, so I learned how to contribute to a team and how they can support me [in a] combined effort to survive against ongoing threats.

Why do you think that students today love playing video games?

Video games can be stress-relieving factors and can help students feel happy. They want an environment where they can relieve their stress, whether that’s through playing single-player games, multi-player games, or MMOs. They want to escape reality for a little bit and enjoy the fictional nature of games, not having to focus on their problems.

Video games allow students to connect with other people, while they are stuck with being inside and isolated. They can channel their frustration into games and transform that emotion into happiness as they are playing their favorite game.

How do you think students choose games based on their age? 

For students under the age of 12, they choose their games that are straight-forward and easy to solve. Games such as Minecraft, Roblox, even Fortnite are simple games that don’t require much thought-process to play. Mainly, to have fun and not think about solving the problem. For students age 12 or older will go for more challenging, complex games to test themselves and their skills. Perhaps learning more about problem-solving and how to think outside the box for solutions. Games such as Valheim and Fall Guys require students to think on creative solutions, different approaches to take down monsters or how to complete each obstacle and become the winner for the crown.

What concerns do you have about students playing video games?

. Video games are very enticing for students who are anti-social. With video games, anti-social students feel no need to make friends at their school when they can make friends on-line. Even worse, some would never leave their rooms unless they have too. Never going to events, social gatherings, or parties. This can lead to isolation and not feeling a want or need to socialize with their peers and teachers in school.

My concerns stem from students prioritizing video games above everything else That was my problem as a student. I hated school and homework back then. I would play video games every chance I had, so I could avoid school or homework. Sometimes, I would avoid eating because of a favorite game I’m was currently playing. I want to encourage students to play video games as a fun, stress-reliever, but don’t neglect on school and personal self.

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