"How can they be fans? They aren't real fans! They don't even know the story!" she rants.
|My girl at the movies with her book.|
I nod my head in understanding. I first discovered the Twilight saga November 17, 2007, thanks to a book review written by my friend Martha Martin for The Teaching Librarian, the magazine of which I am an editor. I knew about Edward and Bella long before Robert Pattison and Kristin Stewart played them on the silver screen. I have been to Twilight conventions where some attendees have never read the books and this surprises me. I have the same reaction as my daughter but I'm less vocal - how can they be fans?
|A corny photo my friend Gianna took of me in my school library.|
When something I care deeply about becomes "adopted" by mainstream society, it causes a mixed reaction inside for me. Part of me is delighted that more people are discovering this wonderful thing; part of me is dismayed by the shallowness of the "newly-converted" that do not seem to understand all the subtleties, nuances and history of the topic. Is that a bit elitist? Does that suggest a superiority complex for those who were aware of this "magic" before the rest of the world? I don't want it to be. I think it's society's obsession with what's popular that drives me bonkers. We "Frankenstein" concepts and ideas until they are but empty shells of the original.
The same thing is stirring in me with regards to using video games in education. We have a new member on our Gaming Educators Minecraft multi-player server. Her character name is Technascribe and she is very nice. Since joining our crew, she's built a jungle city reminiscent of the Ewok home-world. We've had a great time rediscovering all the neat things in the place we've created as we have shown our new colleague around our world. She uses Minecraft at her school in the U.S. and it appears like she's had a lot of fun playing with us. She doesn't feel like a Johnny-come-lately. I don't think I'd object to having teachers completely new to Minecraft come to try things out in a safe and welcoming environment, as long as their intent is "pure". I think I'm concerned about the folks that would want to join our server as a "feather in their cap" so they can make some claim to being a "gaming educator pioneer" for the prestige rather than for the joy and learning. The "Negative Nancy" in me worries about what will happen if the games-based learning (GBL - it already has an acronym of its own) really starts to take off. I've talked about this a bit already in this blog when I was reflecting on the webinar that Liam, Denise and I gave for the TLVirtual Cafe. Maybe I'm counting my chickens before they're hatched. After all, the amazing Doug Peterson wrote a great blog post about gaming that suggests that it won't be the next big thing because people need to find "work-arounds" to make it possible in their schools. Having just said that, however, I sense that the mood is shifting - people want to do innovative things and want to "borrow ideas" from games.Even as I was searching for Doug's tweet, I found this in my Twitter stream that @snbeach retweeted: "Join me next week for my webinar How to Use the Video Game Model to Build Curriculum Units".
Video game "model"?
Build curriculum units?
Now can you see why I'm nervous?