The bane of any parents life is to watch their offspring playing endless hours of video games, as opposed to reading a good book, or even watching a fine movie. It seems that the medium retains the casual past-time image in many minds, and is the subject of scorn from journalists in the media who claim it is doing everything from making us less intelligent
to causing cancer
(both of which are unsubstantiated). However, despite a poor public image, the medium of video games is a stimulating, worthwhile engagement and I believe that the ire directed towards it is misguided and critics of the genre to be misinformed. Throughout my travels through dungeons, across planets and to the depths of history, there are things that I genuinely feel I have learnt better than I would have sat in any classroom. Here are five areas from which I have managed to gather useful data and life skills from their story, themes or design...
5. Assassin's Creed - A Lesson In History
Very rarely is a gaming environment as detailed and lifelike as the worlds of the Assassin's Creed series. Rarer still is a storyline that adheres so perfectly to reality, containing so many elements of truth regarding the setting characters and events. The Assassin's Creed series has been subject to extensive research from its developers to ensure that each target dies where and when they are supposed to. Political turmoil and other aspects of the environment including the architecture are refined versions of human history ready for easy ingestion from an unsuspecting audience. From the introduction of the organization of "Hashasins" during the early crusades to the portrayal of Richard the Lionheart. After completing the games I found that I knew more about the Renaissance era and about the lives of Washington, Franklin and Jefferson than I had previously. Although the science of "genetic memory" is nonsense of the highest order, it opens the gate to this fun learning experience.