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Think of the children: Marlene Perrotte are taking up the good fight against video games where Jack Thompson left off. She and other parents in Albuquerque are fighting an educational math videogame which they claim is making children victims of "addiction" and exposing them to "violent" content like jetpacks.  (Source: KOAT-TV)
"What they recall is not the prime number ... but rather getting through to the enemy" -- concerned parent

Video games have their perpetual enemies -- poor adaptation, perverts, and slipping release deadlines.  However, perhaps the most insidious foe of video games is the perennial cry to ban games because they are too "violent", too "addictive", or feature too many "adult themes."

Albuquerque, New Mexico fell victim to this familiar foe when it tried to educate children using a mathematics-themed video game.  The local schools received a Department of Defense grant to deploy Tabula Digital's DimensionM to local schools, to help bump up children's math test scores.

Tabula Digital describes the game as having "all the action and adventure of commercial-quality video games while practicing and reinforcing the skills they need to succeed in math."  One middle school teacher called it "a 21st century flash card... They can use jetpacks and at the same time they have to know what the associative property is."

Not all local parents are as impressed, though.  Some are leading a crusade to see the game banned.  KOAT-TV, a local TV station, has been covering the bizarre protests.  One parent, Marlene Perrotte, comments, "We are feeding the addiction of these children to video games.  They were all excited, and they were excited because of the violence -'I'm getting ahead, I'm getting ahead, I'm getting ahead.'"

In a furor that would make even Jack Thompson proud, she raves, "What they recall is not the prime number ... but rather getting through to the enemy!"

Thus far, Albuquerque schools have no plans to drop the educational title amid the apparent outrage of a handful of parents.  DimensionM will continue to keep kids addicted -- to learning mathematics.  And that might just be a pretty great thing, considering math competency worldwide has been slipping.



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RE: Meh
By GourdFreeMan on 6/9/2010 9:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
This article will soon be bumped off the front page of Anandtech, so I won't be following it anymore, and won't respond to any further comments. However, if you doubt the veracity of anything I have written I encourage you to substitute teach in your local school district. It is one thing to parrot what you have been told or post opinions on a forum; it is something entirely different to have firsthand experience.

Some assignments have tightly plotted lesson plans, while others are less structured or even mere exercises in babysitting, so if you persist you will have ample opportunity to test your theories, if you wish. I know I have done my best to enrich the curriculum whenever I had expert knowledge on the subject at hand, and cooperative students willing to learn. Volunteering at a local school would also give you some firsthand experience and maybe the same opportunity, but you won't get a broader picture of what your local school district is really like.

Even if your county, state or nation does have a radically different educational system I think both you and the students in your community would profit from the experience. I look back on my own experiences with a bittersweet mixture of pride and frustration.


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