It was different this time, I swear. I wrote myself out a “thou shall blog on this day” schedule and everything, but alas…. I also got sucked into more time-defying course development. When I say “time-defying”, I mean that the timeline for said course development was “totally realistic” and “well thought out.”
Anyways, there’s more to the story though too. I over-extended my interest and desire to talk about GTA V in more installments. The truth is, the more I played it, the more observations I made that I could write about, sure, but on the flip-side, I also made more observations that made me not want to write about the game any further. GTA V is an idiot-magnet, which is kind of a shame because it is still by all appearances, totally brilliant in concept.
Interestingly too, I came across a unique opportunity for a discussion about teacher ethics. My husband bought me a mic for my birthday–the idea behind this is that if you can talk to the other players on your mission, ultimately, your mission will go smoother. The flip side of this is that not all the conversations one will have in-game are pleasant (even if you are me, and attempt to be as pleasant as possible). Furthermore, not all conversations are pleasant and with adults.
I have a good sense about these things, so if I hear a conversation that is clearly inappropriate and being carried on by a minor, I immediately subtract my presence from that equation. Now, from my point of view, this takes me out of a bad situation. I’m not ever going to be a teacher who thinks it’s okay to talk smack to whomever in a video game during my spare time–not going to happen.
That said….when I was in my Educational Ethics course, there was talk about the role of the teacher outside the classroom. If we saw one of our students in trouble or in conflict outside of school, we were told we could or should step in and do something– we are still student advocates in our spare time (this is treacherous ground for a few reasons, but it’s more or less correct). Talking about being student advocates on our own time in an online gaming environment, is a whole other beast of a different back though. Arguably, it’s impossible or highly complicated. I can be a nice person and I can be a good role model, sure, but I think it would be impossible to get into a verbal conflict in a video game and say, “hey guys, knock it off–I’m a teacher. I know what I’m talking about, and I’m going to solve this rage you both have about being murked, okay? Let’s park the tanks now, and have a civilized mediated discussion.”
This takes me back to my original point about just staying out of all in-game conversation altogether. I seriously think it would be impossible to verbally “advocate” and mediate all the meaningless conflict and hateful conversations that happen in this particular game. Potentially, it would invite more inappropriateness in my direction, in this particular game. Meanwhile, that mic is going to gather dust, but I’m okay with that. I know this hasn’t been the most effective conversation about this interesting issue, so I invite more thoughts about this into the discussion. If I had more time, I could talk further about things, but alas…the work just grows.