by Terry Heick, TeachThought.com
Crafting in video games is an important trend that may indicate the future of not just video games, but how we approach digital technology.
Take a game like Skyrim for example. In Skyrim, players can collect seasonings, foods, flowers, insect parts, and scores of other fundamental ingredients that can then be combined to produce something new.
Not just anything can be combined, however. Certain products--potions, for example, require specific ingredients. The player can discover these combinations through research, using a guide, asking a friend, or trial-and-error.
Minecraft also has crafting, allowing the player to combine certain elements to produce others--sticks can be combined with coal to create torches or bundled to make fences, signs, or weapons. Gunpowder and sand can be combined to make TNT--which can then be used to destroy what you just spent time creating.
In both games, this micro crafting parallels the trend in the game itself, where players literally create their own playing experiences within the confines of the game's natural tools, rules, and ingredients.
Skyrim is a "RPG"--a role-playing game where players assume roles, and then create their own character as they go along, from what they look like, to how they interact with other players, which communities they join online, their demeanor, skills and talents, and so on.
This is all done within the framework of the world created by the video game developers, but the world is designed to reward unique play-styles and character builds. The result is a unique experience based on interest, self-created goals, and the player's overall grasp of the intricate world.
Somewhere, there is a takeaway here for education.