Question Sheet: What Video Games Can Teach Us


Before reading:

  1. Name some video games that you think are educational or “good for you.” What characteristics do they have that put them in this category?
  2. Because people as old as your parents probably didn’t grow up playing video games, how do you think that affects the way they look at video games now?
  3. What was the first video game you ever played? What did you learn from it?

During reading:

  1. Who is James Gee? What makes him an expert on video games?
  2. Why is it important that video games be interactive?
  3. Gee says that “kids today are natives in a culture in which their parents are immigrants.” What does he mean?
  4. According to the article, what are three ways in which playing video games provides benefits?
  5. Explain in your own words the experiment at the University of Rochester.

After reading:

  1. Of the video and computer games mentioned in this article, which one do you think might help you improve in some skill? Why?
  2. Gee asks, “How compelling would a game be if you only had good choices?” For a game to be fun, is it important for a player to be able to make both good and bad choices? Why?
  3. Name a video or computer game now available that might be helpful for a school lesson in a subject that you are studying. Explain why your teacher should incorporate this game into the lesson.
  4. Think of a video or computer game not mentioned in the article and describe how it might provide some sort of benefit.
  5. In which professions would it be an advantage or desirable to have lots of experience playing video games?


  1. Invent a video game that would help teach you about what you are presently studying in science class. Describe how the game would work and what its goals would be.
  2. Pick a video or computer game that has a historical theme. Go to the library to research the subject of the game. Make a list of books that would help you understand the history behind the game better or make the game more enjoyable.


It takes you 50 hours to complete a typical video game. On most days, you play video games for an hour and a half. For 18 days of the year, you play 5 hours each day. How many video games can you complete in 1 year?