ETC Feature Article: What Gaming as Taught us: Economics

Another day brings another feature article. Once again from Trent in his "What Video Games have Taught Us" series, this time a shorter editorial about economics in video games.

What has gaming taught us? Probably nothing, but as gamers we like to think and say we are learning things from our time gobbling hobby. For today I'm looking into something more logical and meaningful for this article- Economical you could say.

The idea of math and numbers ruling our lives is a terrible excuse which people use to try and convince children to keep doing Maths as they age through the educational system. Something which they say we can't learn outside of the walls which they try and teach us in, so as gaming becomes more attacked by outside community influences more and more do we have to say- maybe this is learned by gaming.

I have a lovely example here, I was playing the new Legend of Zelda game Spirit Tracks for the past few days, time consuming yes- but what else was I going to do?

So I was just done dealing and welding my sword down on evil in almost all of the regions, I now focused on the last region- the mountain region and as I arrived at Goron City, I was surprised to find out that the shop had jacked up the prices on various items due to the lovely fire balls which where spitting out of the sky.

I then thought back to my schooling, Business Studies and Commerce which I had taken back in high school which guided my understanding of these simple video game occurrences. If I wasn't mistaken I dare say what was at place was a similar effect to economies of scale. Meaning that because Gorons can't acquire the item readily enough because of the Spirit Tracks been pretty much non-existent as well as the fact that Gorons don't really need bombs and arrows, that means that the price was going to be dam well higher.

Of course for the most part I had forgotten what I learned in school, so for all I know what I just said could be far from the truth, but it's something a gamer could notice and learn from playing video games.

A gamer could be passing through some town in an RPG and go "mmm, these prices are more than the other town I was just in", and for those reading this at home- yes they would speak like that, they are gamers I haven't written an article about how they learn English from video games yet, so by that logic they don't know English well enough.

Regardless of how someone more educated would word that horrible speech sentence, the gamer would now be alert to something in a video game, something which is mathematically existent in the real world, or "IRL" as those cheeky kids would say. This crazy annoying thing to them is something which they will slowly be learning about as they tread through the video game world. They will be experiencing everything about economical down terms, supply and demand and other classical educational terms.

This now goes onto our second issue which relates to economic issues. You see the kids need to learn about counting, and what better way to do that by "how am I going to afford X game when I have to do Y to give to Z to get A after doing B", what a great pattern.

So with this pattern they will be like "well X is 500 gold pieces, and Y is 540 and I only have 400" then of course they will then go on to work out the reminder, what why are you looking at me? Of course they will, don't look at me for the answer- I play video games. Wait maybe video games don't teach us maths?

Posted on 06-06-2010 by Trent

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