We consider video games, elements within children’s daily lives, to be an excellent ally for them to learn strategies to adapt to their reality. Thus, in this research we played with ‘Tomb Raider: Chronicles’ with primary education students. Together with their teachers and the researchers, they worked on the issue of “non-violence” by building the script for a theatre play and creating a web page where they could share their reflections.
Our goal was to analyze the role of video games as tools that eased the process of building narratives and allowed us to work on values through the development of a critical thinking process by the participants.
This study was conducted in an elementary and primary education public school in Alcalá de Henares during the 2002/2003 school year. Its main characters were 27 students aged between 7 and 8 and their teacher.
For this, we organized a workshop within school hours where we intended to connect two different worlds that are related between them: the real world, made up of the different settings in which children interact (neighbourhood, family, school and classroom) and an imaginary world created in the classroom and whose main character is the video game.
The workshop was divided in three main sections, which revolved around the video game, theatre and webpage.
The video game was introduced during the first sessions. We inquired about the children’s preferences to end up playing with the one that came out as their favourite, ‘Tomb Raider’. Subsequently, they re-built what we had lived in it though the creation of texts, thus working on narrative construction.
Following this, and by combining the experiences in the game with their own imagination, participants prepared a theatre script. Once created, children represented their story by means of their body language. From there, they discussed the issue of the violence present on the video game.
The video game plays an important role in the development of narrative thinking. Boys and girls managed to not only write their own stories from their interaction with the video game, but also to go further, by re-building the narratives lived by the heroine, with whom they identified, through the representation of stories they made up.
Research project ‘La presencia de la tecnología en la vida infantil: nuevas alfabetizaciones’ (The presence of technology in children’s life: new literacies”) financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Aids to R+D projects, National Program for the Promotion of Knowledge. Duration: 01/01/2002 – 31/12/2005.
Students and teachers in year 3 of Primary Education in the Elementary and Primary Education School ‘Henares’ in Alcalá de Henares.