The Marxist and the Gamers: Reading, Fortnite, and My Students' Identities
Date Written: 26/07/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22918
A school teacher reflects on the differences he sees in his students from past generations, notably the many young people who are avid online gamers.
From this teacher's perspective, reading as a transformational tool has pretty much run its course. This marks a profound break in history, the consequences of which cannot yet be fully understood. The rising generations of non-readers, or rather people who read solely for technical ends, have not yet had complete lives capable of historical or longitudinal study.
An anecdote suggestive of where we might be heading involves my technical-reading-only students who play Fortnite, the wildly popular computer game in which participants aim to assassinate opponents. I've watched kids play, seen how the game draws them in, and wonder if teenage me would have been able to resist (doubtful). Students fall asleep in classes after Fortnite all-nighters. One of mine is a chronically-tired champ who, when asked about his gaming behavior, asserted with only the slightest hint of comedic exaggeration: "yeah, Im addicted." Thus, he scooped the World Health Organization's recent declaration that "gaming disorder" is now a public health concern.