Tony Karrer's eLearning Blog on e-Learning Trends eLearning 2.0 Personal Learning Informal Learning eLearning Design Authoring Tools Rapid e-Learning Tools Blended e-Learning e-Learning Tools Learning Management Systems (LMS) e-Learning ROI and Metrics

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Learning from Sports Games

I just saw a post by Tom Crawford - The Rules of the Game. In it he discusses how a very bright person (graduated with a degree in psychology at age 19) from Nigeria who was just drafted by Houston first learned to play the game - playing Madden football.

I had a very similar experience with my son who didn't know the rules of baseball. I took him to a couple of games and tried to explain them - but it turns out that the rules are pretty crazy when you get down to it. Instead, I went to BestBuy and bought a copy of MVP Baseball. It took a couple of hours for him to learn the rules and a lot of the subtleties of the game.

It really made me appreciate the power of learning this way.


Lee Kraus said...


I know us Dad's can be a little over the top when it comes to our kids, but my 8 year old has become a football fanatic. He plays football on his xBox360, Nintendo DS, and his older GameBoy as much as we allow, he played football last fall on the local team, and watches the NFL channel (again with some restrictions), we Tivo'd the draft, not to mention a large number of books from school and the backyard brawls with friends and family. (I lined the backyard off last summer for his birthday and painted the local college logo at mid-field.)

The games are powerful and he plays them in very unique ways, picking different match-ups for different reasons, making players with super speed or strength, turning some rules on and off, or playing just in "over-time" mode, so first score wins.

So this is his PLE and he is in control and quite knowledgeable.

As you can imagine, this makes traditional learning challenging. He has made excellent marks so far.

Tony Karrer said...

Lee - that's great. I would guess that your son understands the domain in ways that we really couldn't understand it even twenty years ago. And what's really interesting is how the games have taken on a General Manager role as well as what we used to do as kids (push a joystick).

Lee Kraus said...

Exactly, I used to play "Combat" on Atari where we shoot at each other's tank and he is trading wide-outs to improve his league standings and experimenting with the a three man front on passing situations.