Video Games & Teaching Moments

Where do I start with this? Let me go back a bit. Kevin had a video game – Pikmin 2 for the Wii. He played it for quite a few years on and off (well, more off than on). So about a year and a half ago, Johnathan was wanting games that taxed his mind and his analyzing ability. Kevin introduced him to the game as something he could do.

Well, Johnathan got on really well with the game and although he would ask for help, it was infrequent and for something that he simply couldn’t do. He could tell Kevin how to do it, he just didn’t have the skill with the remote or nunchuck. He played it in a very weird way – had the remote stuck in the left-hand side of the screen and left it there while he used the nunchuck.

Anyway, they completed the game and Johnathan was really proud of this – as he should be. It was a massive achievement. He had achieved something I didn’t believe was possible at his young age. Kevin and he would play the short games and occasionally he would go down and complete a cave again.

When Curiosity Gets in the Way

Johnathan is always very curious about how things work. He tends to go and interfere with the options and the settings, just to see what he can do. This could be a blessing, but he doesn’t have the background knowledge to know what to do. Kevin has told him to stay out of them in every game he plays but the other day he decided to go into them, as he does with other games. He basically wiped out the whole completed game on the Wii.

Trouble was he wanted to do it again, which would have been a good thing to do but he was leaving ALL the work to Kevin and not doing any of it. The fact is he did it all in the past and has more than enough knowledge and ability to do it himself. Kevin and I spoke about it together and we decided that he was going to do it again. Kevin was just going to be there for advice and help if he needed it.

Working on it Himself

Johnathan didn’t believe he could do it and was deeply upset at us asking him to. We told him that we knew he could – he had done it a year and a half ago. If he could do it in a bizarre way and complete the game, then he could learn how to do the game in a usual manner. We were well aware of his capability even if he was not.

So he has actually been doing it and succeeding. The game is teaching him skills that will help him in the future. Working things out for himself again is really rewarding. Every bit he is achieving, I am encouraging him that he can do it. Hoping he sees that it is possible for him to succeed.

Yes, Johnathan wiped out the game by accident, but we are using it as a learning and achieving lesson for him. He doesn’t have much confidence in his abilities so I am hoping as we encourage him, we can help him achieve whatever he wants to.

It’s wonderful to see Johnathan’s joy and delight over every bit of the game that he achieves. He knows that he can do these things now and I am hoping this is increasing his confidence. Unfortunately he doesn’t yet understand how to transfer his skills from one area of life to another. He holds them in separate sections in his mind but we are working on him recognising that skills are transferrable from one situation to another.

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