These are some of the questions we contemplated when working with musical video games:
This project was implemented throughout the 2008/2009 school year in a Secondary School in Madrid with 15 year-old students during their Music class. The stages followed were the following:
We become a rock band. Participants formed music groups in which the player adopted different identities when choosing what instrument to play.
Let’s go to a concert. Students were not just rock starts, but also their classmate’s fans. The class became a concert venue in which everyone cheered.
We are journalists. Within the virtual world created in the music classroom, participants also adopted the role of journalist who, loaded with photo and video cameras, captured the most exciting moments.
We create videos for our fans. Using photos and videos, boys and girls, in groups, reflected upon the experience, reaching a consensus on the messages to be conveyed and creating, based on these messages, audiovisual products.
Rock Bandenables for the teaching and learning of music to become a living process. Using the video game, thoughts and emotions become part of the group’s reflections.
The classroom became a non-formal learning environment: furniture was removed to create the “stage” and enable interaction among musicians and their audience. This, together with the merging of virtual and “real” instruments, transformed the teaching-learning setting. The fact of living between two worlds, the real one (music classroom) and the virtual one, in which no risks are run, allowed teenagers to discover and experiment new sensations.
The presence of video games in the classroom, in which teenagers are usually more expert, contributes to transforming the relationship between the one who teaches and the one who learns, making them more symmetrical. With regards to the relationship among the students, these games foster collaboration through interaction with their peers and the corresponding exercise of the emotional, social and affective skills.
Agreement of collaboration between the University of Alcalá and the video game company Electronic Arts (EA), within its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan. Date: June 2009.