Video gaming | Chasing the dream | "The move away from linear narratives to more complex games that allow players to make moral choices, argues Mr Prensky, means that games provide an opportunity to discuss moral questions. �These are wonderful examples for us to be discussing with our kids,� he says. Indeed, perhaps the best way to address concerns over the effects of video games is to emphasise their vast potential to educate.

Even games with no educational intent require players to learn a great deal. Games are complex, adaptive and force players to make a huge number of decisions. Gamers must construct hypotheses about the in-game world, learn its rules through trial and error, solve problems and puzzles, develop strategies and get help from other players via the internet when they get stuck. The problem-solving mechanic that underlies most games is like the 90% of an iceberg below the waterline�invisible to non-gamers. But look beneath the violent veneer of �Grand Theft Auto�, and it is really no different from a swords-and-sorcery game. Instead of stealing a crystal and delivering it to a wizard so that he can cure the princess, say, you may have to intercept a consignment of drugs and deliver it to a gang boss so he can ransom a hostage. It is the pleasure of this problem-solving, not the superficial violence which sometimes accompanies it, that can make gaming such a satisfying experience."

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