Sebastian Mallaby has written an op-ed piece in the Washington Post yesterday about the benefits of gaming. Mallaby is the father of an eleven year-old. He writes,
“…Computer games have some advantages. They train players to master complex rules, to weigh odds and solve problems and make quick decisions. Indeed, players learn how to learn: The mysteries of a new and unknown game must be unlocked by trial and error. Marc Prensky, the author of the (upcoming) book Don’t Bother Me, Mom–I’m Learning tells the story of Stephen Gillette, an entrepreneur who picked up his leadership and organizational skills by playing online games. ‘I remember my mom and dad yelling at me,’ Gillette writes, ‘They didn’t know I had a 200-person [online] guild to manage.’”
Mallaby’s own son loves the game Runescape. Of the game, Mallaby comments,
“…(Runescape’s) main attraction lies in its business challenge. My son has been buying logs, making longbows and selling them at a profit; he says the margins in the bow business fluctuate around ten percent. Lately he’s moved into buying magic herbs in bulk and retailing them individually. This is a dicier business, but the risk is balanced by reward. Herb-trading margins can be 100 percent or fatter.”
After all the bad news we have heard about video games, it is nice to close out the year with a parent who loves that his kid loves games.