Technology and gaming can cause tension in families. Some parents become exasperated at what they believe to be their children’s over-use of technology. Gamers enjoy the sense of achievement, exhilaration and “flow” they experience.
The notion of “flow” has been documented by scholars such as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and others. It is difficult to explain, but when you experience it, you know.
- To watch an educational video focused on technology as a family.
- To discuss the pros and cons of gaming for individuals, families and communities.
- To explore the notion of responsible gaming and how to use technology skills for the benefit of others.
- To offer perspectives on what activities offer a sense of achievement, exhilaration and “flow” to both children and parents.
Watch Jane McGonigal’s 2010 TED talk “Gaming Can Make a Better World” (20:02) together as a family.
- What do you think of McGonigal’s idea that gaming can make a better world? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- How are you using technology now in your daily life? Do you over-use technology? Under-use technology? What do these terms mean, anyway?
- How can you use technology to help others? (This can include things like helping family members improve their technology literacy, using technology skills in volunteer and community work, etc.)
- What other activities in your life give you a sense of achievement and exhilaration?
Further reading for parents
Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (1996), Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, New York: Harper Perennial.
Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (1996), Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life, Basic Books.
Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (2003), Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, New York: Penguin Books.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.