I Played Apex Legends To Understand My Students A Bit Better: Here’s What I Have Learnt
Gaming is nothing new to me. However, with life and kids, it has become rather difficult to spend hours on my Xbox or PC. As such, I have not been gaming as excessively as I used to until I heard my students raving about Apex Legends. They say it is better than PUBG and Fortnite. They say that it was fun and best of all, they said that it was free.
The miser in my leaped with joy. How can such a wonderful game be free? As such, I have decided to do a bit of research. You know, it’s important for teachers to understand their students better. It helps us contextualize the lesson a bit better. Also, it broadens our horizons to different aspects of the world that we would otherwise never be exposed to. I’m just making excuses to play Apex Legends actually.
I decided to pick up the game which is a battle royale where you get dropped onto a map. Run around the map to look for great guns and loot. Find the rest of the players and kill them all. Fun times! So after about 60 kills and 9 hours of gaming later, here’s what I have learned.
I Suck At It… But I Can’t Stop Playing.
If you were unfortunate to meet me as your teammate, I apologize. You see, I have been so used to the Xbox where aim assist is enabled that I find it difficult to aim with the mouse.
Thus, I may think that I am hitting my opponents but none of my shots meet its mark. I lost the first few matches pretty badly, sometimes even dying after 2 minutes of entering the game. While I really hated losing, I could not stop playing.
I think there is this in-built drive in me to come back stronger in the next match. While I rarely win, there is this innate drive that compels to me to play more and be better at it. This has led me to realize that my students do have that same drive too. That drive to come back again and again despite losing horribly.
The more I play, the more I wonder, how can I harness that drive to play more and use it for their learning.
The Fun Elements Of Apex Legends
As I reflected on my time on Apex legends, I realized that one of the fun elements in Apex Legends is how easy and yet difficult the game is. Let me explain, the game essentially is not hard. If you have played any first-person shooters, this one is easy.
But, like any FPS game, it is difficult to land your shots. It takes a lot of practice. The fun, in this case, is in the practice. Apex Legends amplifies this well, dropping sweet character customizations and banners where you can brag how cool you are.
This is a stark contrast to how students learn. Most of them get figuratively ‘killed’ or rekt in exams. Yet, the skill required to do well is so far beyond them and practice so boring, most of them give up on it completely.
I think a great way how education systems, particularly exams can emulate games is the presence of badges. Bragging rights for students to wear or display to showcase their strengths. Sure, not all of us are good in studying, but we all are good at something.
Just like Apex Legends, perhaps with some badges that one can display, it will perhaps compel them to practice more to do better in the next assessment. Now, if you would excuse me, I need to do some Apex…I mean, research.