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Some of the reasons I'm excited about Dreams, tech and VR! Thoughts!?

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  • Some of the reasons I'm excited about Dreams, tech and VR! Thoughts!?

    Hi All.

    Do you have any examples of you having learned something valuable in your everyday life, by playing a "Dream" - or any other game?

    I got a PS4 just for Dreams. When I read about it, I couldn't believe that someone made something like this, really incredible - I can't think of a better introduction to programming and graphic / game design than just letting someone play, nor a better way to accelerate the cutting edge incl. of what ray tracing can allow, nor a better way to explore VR - and to explore the possibilities of teaching and sharing concepts across language and culture barriers. I am quite literally blown away by something on a computer for the first time in decades.

    Improving our fluency in visual communication - and words vs. pictures

    I think a tool like this is a necessary stepping stone to improve our fluency in visual communication, and I can see VR playing a much bigger role in education in a decade or so, when more people can "speak VR", so to speak. Most of us, I think, think in pictures rather than words, and I can see this unlocking a new way of communicating... our tools are perhaps still quite crude, and for now it's mostly just games - but I think playing will improve our tools, and games can change how we think, and can teach things, mostly unintentionally even - possibly pique our interest and attention span for other types of learning. I think a case can be made that I learned some of the most valuable - and interesting life concepts, through games - and stories.

    Passive learning

    The thing about learning is that, I think, most of it is passive - and happens while we "zone out", sleep - or play. Sometimes we teach best, when we're not even trying - teaching comes naturally when we express ourselves. I learned to understand everything from the stock market, to some ethics and morality concepts, to our place in the universe, through games - not because someone set out to teach those things, but because their understanding filtered through the games they made, broadened my horizons at a younger age than what was perhaps even possible for the generations that came before. Things that were the pinnacle of intellectualism just a few generations ago, I grew up with as primary intuitions - and so we upgrade our mental software generation by generation. The only difference between a human from some centuries ago, and a human today, is our mental software - what we know and are able to share and communicate. There's also the aspect of learning best when we try to teach...

    Overcoming our flaws through sharing experience

    The thing we're worst at - and even some - perhaps most - of the smartest people today suffer from this - is really understanding that which they have not experienced - and even while seemingly, supposedly, allegedly "experiencing" it, being so consumed with THEIR OWN thoughts while experiencing it - that they don't notice what is really going on, to the extent necessary - eg. our assumptions about "poverty" is a great example. The more you learn about it, the more contradictions you encounter, and truly experiencing some aspects of it, can be a mind expanding experience... I mean, what does it mean when it seems clear that much of it is caused by the misunderstandings of those who purport to try to improve things, by the very things they do? There are no straightforward answers - other than - that - when more people who understand these things, gains access to the world of those who are shaping the power-monging part of the world, perhaps better balance and understanding will come into reach, and we can move past the "-isms" and ideologies, of the past - that almost nobody who talks about it, understand deeply enough anyways. Many people say we should listen more... and playing a game is basically listening to the mechanics and ideas communicated by the game...

    Some examples of things I learnt playing games

    Nothing fancy or in depth, just some things off the top of my head, that piqued or improved my interest in things:

    About Money and economics - World of Warcraft. In World of Warcraft you start out with a few coins, and it takes AGES to make your first gold coin... but from the beginning you see people with tens of thousands of gold coins - it seems impossible to obtain... until you discover the market. The marketplace taught me more about supply and demand, money, and the stock market, and economics, than any textbook I've read up to that point.

    About our place in the universe - and anthropology - I suppose - Star Control II. It's a game with very basic mechanics, but its kept interesting with a super fun action component - where the story explores the aftermath of a galactic battle between "The Hierarchy" and "The Alliance". I got drawn in with the 2-player melee - and playing the story you intuitively learn about how small we are in the universe and different cultures, and Sci-Fi concepts. I think I have this game to thank for really piquing my interest in space.

    About computer security - Hacker evolution. Just a fun simulation about figuring out how systems work, by adding a story to it, and wrapping it in a neat and simple UI.

    Then there are some much more recent, and much more explicitly learning-orientated games - that I'm not sure what the draw is for anyone who is not already drawn to it - like Human Resource Machine, and Detroit - Become Human. And I'm sure many more old - and modern - examples that I've not heard of. Perhaps a "dictionary" of computer games, ranked by theme, and morals taught, would be useful, to construct game libraries - and help parents curate libraries of fun passive learning for their kids...

    Content catalogues and ratings?

    I also know of some examples of personality disorders that were the irrefutable result of kids playing games with disturbing content at a too young age.

    My grandfather's masters thesis was about the moral contents of popular reading materials. I feel like I don't see nearly enough of this sort of a thing - a superficial age rating doesn't even scratch the surface - and the modern equivalent would be the same of games and their contents.

    Do you know of any such projects?

    ---

    All in all, super excited to be here and learning with all of you. And hopefully eventually sharing too! And super keen to learn about your thoughts and experiences in learning - and teaching - through games, and VR - please do (try to) share your thoughts. ... :-) in Dreams format too!

    Happy dreaming!
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