"Ed Tech" is a Cancer That Threatens the Entire Gaming Industry

“Ed Tech” is a Cancer That Threatens the Entire Gaming Industry

ed tech gamergate

GUEST EDITORIAL by @Azu_Rayn & @TheQuQu

For several years now, there’s been many calls for a reform of our public educational system. Articles pointing out the flaws of our public schools have appeared on plenty of blogs, like Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. Why, Donald Trump even talked about pushing for educational reform when he’s elected president.

Some have suggested that this reform should involve the integration of video games in the classroom which they call Educational Technology, or Ed Tech for short. You can see the early stages of this with some teachers having their students play Gone Home in class (causing the game to have a big boost in sales.) The goons from Extra Credits have made several videos on the subject. Even Disney and Microsoft have shown interest in the idea. There’s just one little problem with Ed Tech.

If Ed Tech becomes financially successful, then it will bring changes to the industry that will be devastating to video games as a medium for entertainment.

While computers have been used in schools practically since their invention, beyond classes specifically for computer programing, they were mostly treated the same as play time at recess. You could not actually get class credit for beating Star Wars Droidworks or Elroy Goes Bugzerk, for instance. But the point of Ed Tech is that computer games would be an integral part of the school’s curriculum. One would actually be forced to play them in order to pass all their classes.

Now, the narrative surrounding this is that it will make school a fun and happy place for children to learn. No longer will kids view learning as a tedious chore that they’re forced to do, day in and day out. They’ll finally look forward to going to school, and will grow to be smarter people because of it.

This is, of course, complete and utter nonsense. Ed Tech will be, at best, like boring, grind heavy RPG Maker “games” with enemies replaced with exam questions and, at worst, Social Justice propaganda to make our children hate themselves because they are white (or teach them that white people are responsible for all their life problems.) Alone, those would just be terrible video games, of which we already have an abundance of, but combined with the school system, it would bring about a gaming industry far worse than we’ve ever seen.

To show this, let’s take a look at another entertainment medium that’s been strongly affected by the educational system: Literature.

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Above is a chart showing a number of books that most American high schoolers are expected to have read by the time they graduate. This is partly to show that they have the same reading level expected of all functioning adults in society, but it’s also to give them a cultural literacy—a knowledge of what are considered the Important books of America. An example of this would be a book called Maus, which is used to teach about the Holocaust.

The effects of forcing children to spend twelve years of their life reading books that someone else considered to be Important can be seen at every level of book publishing—from the way memoirs written by famous people you’ve never heard of dominate the bookshelves, to the existence of the “Thriller” genre of books. If you’re one of the few like us who actually find pleasure in a good work of literature, most of your choices will be limited to books written by dead authors or translated from another language.

Most book buyers would rather read blandly written “page turners” in which the speed at which one reads each page is valued above all else. Why, one of the most popular genres of fiction these days is Young Adult Sci Fi/Fantasy (ie. Hunger Games rip offs written as easy readers for teenagers and immature adults.) A large portion of the publishing industry is dedicated to writing books, not for the purpose of being good reads, but for the intent of having them be turned into movies a few years down the line. And that’s ignoring those of the general public who forgo reading books entirely due to being burned by their childhood school teachers.

Easily half the problems that the book publishing industry is currently facing wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for children being forced to read supposedly Important books during their high school years. And the same problems will carry over to the gaming industry if Ed Tech is implemented at a national level. Do you like challenging games such as those in the Dark Souls series, which many have compared to the work of James Joyce? Well, you’ll see barely any like them if Ed Tech becomes a core part of the schooling system.

Commercial gaming would become even more casualized than it already is. “Push X to Win” and “Cinematic Experiences” would be far more widespread, as most video game buyers would not have the patience for anything that even remotely challenges them. And why would they, when the school system would be training them to think of video games as work that must be done, something that commercial game developers would have to fight against to continue selling their products.

And trust me, the games that are made for education will be akin to the worst that you’ve seen so far. What game is frequently praised for classroom use? Gone Home. We’ve shared our thoughts on that game and its… failings… in the past. Now why the heck would THAT pile of trash be the type of game used in a classroom?

Let’s roleplay as an SJW for a moment: You buy Anita’s media effects theory, you want to change society, and you’re networked with plenty of folks in the industry—not just game devs and bloggers; you have friends and industry contacts who work in education. See what’s up?

Oh, by the way, the government just implemented new standards which include new educational tech… Whether or not the crackpot theories work, there’s a moneymaking opportunity here. If you’re a failed indie dev, you can just ask Uncle Sam for some funds to make an “Educational” game to teach children how to fight for Social Justice in their day to day lives. Or, if you’re a AAA game publisher who hasn’t been seeing as high a profit as of late, then you can pitch your LEGO/Minecraft rip off as a tool for teaching architecture.

There’s only two possibilities here, and neither are a pleasant prospect for parents whose children will be raised under this new educational regime. Either the media effects theories are correct, and this new technology raises a new generation of liberal identity-obsessed narcissists, or the theory is incorrect, in which case the next generation will be given a shitty education. Neither prospect is very appealing.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • Flowey

    Fucking casuals ruining the gaming industry every year. We need to stop those morons from ruining good games.

    • fnd

      Fucking normies REEEEEEEEEEEEEE…

  • Robot Panda

    That’s retarded, mate. If Ed Tech becomes financially successful it’ll affect the industry? No shit, that’s called the free market. You know, the principle we pledge every time an SJW bitches about feminist games all not selling well. Here’s the thing – it won’t become successful. Because the games will be dry, boring and awful. Also, I don’t think that school should be fun – school is there to put a challenge in front of children so they learn how to overcome it. They learn how to deal with stress, how to not fall apart at the sight of failure.

    Anyway – one of the most educational games I’ve played is Baldur’s Gate 2. It’s where I learned my English, more or less. For 2 years we’ve been yapping how games do not contribute to violence or sexism (social attitudes) and all of a sudden we’re afraid that our political adversaries will use them to condition people into social behavior? That ain’t happening. They can try to use games for their goals, but just like everything SJWs do – it will completely fail. No need for paranoia. When a kid plays GTA VI, all those garbage educational games will immediately lose their ability to affect him.

    As for “our precious children” being taught propaganda – of course they are. However, due to the state of science, we don’t know how much is unquestioned assumptions and how much is truth. With ~90% of sociologists and psychologists being liberal, can we know what exactly is true? Sexual dysphoria used to be on the list of mental illnesses, it’s not anymore? With the liberal bias of psychology and sociology, can we be surprised? The idea that stereotyping is bad came from some liberal asshole in the 30s. For 40 years, 2 generations, it remained unexamined, until in the 70s, some conservative asshole decided to challenge this *assumption* and prove it completely wrong, and actually the reverse is true – stereotyping is hugely beneficial to sociology. I learned that from TL;DR’s recent video.

    My point is – don’t worry. The free market will prevail. Games are already used to educate children, and it kind of works great, but those educational games do not cost millions to make and don’t bring millions in revenue. A kid doesn’t need realistic graphics and screen space ambient occlusion and HDR and volumetric fog and all that garbage.

    • Rayndrops

      Gone Home tripled its sales numbers since teachers started making their students play it. The whole point of Ed Tech, from a marketing perspective, is to avoid the free market. When your tax dollars are what’s paying for these games, then it won’t matter if they’re any good or not.

      • Robot Panda

        I’m assuming you’re talking about college teachers and students? Then the “our precious children” argument doesn’t stand. College students can vote and consent to get fucked. They’re paying college tuition, after all. They’re not kids. Because I’ve never heard of a school teacher requiring students to buy anything. If they had to use something, they could get it legally for free.

        I’m not denying the existence of a progressive mafia, where they look out for each other and the only reason why a teacher would ask their students to play it is to support their mafia family. But that’s no different than that fucking retarded common core, which is a racket. Their goal is to constantly have to print new textbooks, force schools and parents to buy them and that’s how they make money. This is why common core is so insane, because they have to constantly change it. I think it is a much greater threat to the education of our precious children than some boring garbage indie game that some lesbian made.

        Btw, I have to check my timelines, but wasn’t that at about the same time Gone Home was becoming a meme, and people who knew they would hate it bought it so they knew what the fuss was about and made shitty youtube videos on the topic? Because I’m fairly certain that game sold better with non-feminists and anti-feminists than feminists. Hatred is a strong emotion, mate.

        • Rayndrops

          I was talking about high schoolers, not college students. That’s why we said High Schoolers in the piece.

      • SM

        I had some educational software in my school, mostly about language and maths. I didn’t end asking my parents to buy educational soft. At best parents will force their kids to play those games. But in the end they won’t indoctrinate the kids with games.

        I always think of MrRepzion (if you know his youtube channel) since he was a full believer unbreakable catholic , then a theist, and then a complete atheist in a course of like 8 years. If you want to get out of the box, You will get out of the box. The more the people wants to push you inside, the more you will kick to get out. Of course you will have a hard time, like the outcast of the class. But it is a price to pay for following your own path in life and not the one paved by others in exchange of your free will.

  • tz1

    We need Homer, Virgil, Thucydidies, Herodotus, Tacitus, Plutarch, … and the Bible.

    That is what the founding Fathers read.

    • FlawedIntellect

      You forgot Plato, Aristotle, and John Locke.

      • tz1

        True. If we could burn all the cruddy books that turn youngsters brains into mush it would help. I’d be curious if those worried about the inner city public schools would be interested in such an experiment.
        the Ron Paul Curriculum is normally for homeschooling, and I forget the one that Stefan Molyneux featured (and can’t find it with a quick googling – there are LOTS of classical education resources).

        • FlawedIntellect

          Rather than burning books, it’d be wiser to train children at home to be able to recognize what books are worth their time or not.

          The book, “How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading” [by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren] discusses and instructs on the different levels of reading, which helps with sorting out what books are worthwhile to read and which ones aren’t. (from basic comprehension to analytical reading, to syntopical reading (which is comparative reading pertaining to a common subject, often with the aim of comparing and contrasting different viewpoints on a given subject matter.).)
          Also contains a recommendations list of some of the great books of Western civilization. (The authors of your recommendation above are mentioned in the recommendations list, and many more. ;3)

          On that note, there’s also The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, Understanding the Nature and Function of Language, by Sister Miriam Joseph. (This is a book that teaches a classical approach to critical thinking, and shows how it applies to language and communication. It’s inspired by the Trivium of the Middle Ages, which taught in a similar fashion. It also takes heavily after Aristotelian philosophy.)

          • SM

            That would be like indoctrination. Just teach them how to think. They will figure out what feeds their brain, and what rots them. And either way. What they align with later is their own choice, and nothing an agenda filled teacher told them to think.

            Wanna be SJW? ok, do your think. But you better didn’t have someone tell you how cool being SJW is and how bigot are anyone who doesn’t agree with that view point. Live and let live.

          • FlawedIntellect

            Indeed, teaching children how to think is essential.

            However, one minor point. Indoctrination is not necessarily bad. It is bad if what is taught is contrary to common sense, and to reality, and when one is not given the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate doctrines comparatively.

            (The book recommendations I put forward are pretty much specifically for the purpose of training the mind on how to think.)

          • tz1

            Generally agreed, but they have to know that there are books worth reading.

      • SM

        This is something that pissed me off. When i got in the University, they made me read Plato , aristotle and other philosophers, things that made me think. But in Highschool. pure crap. Nothing but things that tell you what to think, not how to think

    • Silence Dogood

      You’d be quite surprised to hear what most of them had to say about the Bible (it wasn’t nice). Jefferson had some particular scathing remarks about it and even went so far as to edit his own version, completely bereft of contradiction or mysticism – it was very short (copies are very rare and VERY expensive). Just thought I’d point that out.

      • tz1

        At least he engaged it. I just had a talk with a local man running for office about the school curriculum on “science”. I pointed out science is something you do – a method – how to think, not a dogma.
        The Bible does engage you – you can love or hate it, and either are appropriate responses.
        (Note the Jefferson Bible/Gospels is not quite what most people think, there is a different history – “politically incorrect guide to history”, etc. has other examples. Ignore the narrative – whichever one).

  • Hawk Hopper

    From that chart above:

    Books assigned to me in high school: Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby

    What I read on my own in high school: 1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Slaughter House Five,

  • FlawedIntellect

    Throughout history, there’ve been various attempts at edu-tainment games. (Hell, LazyGameReviews has videos on some of them.)

    I’ve got nothing wrong with the idea of trying to use games to be educational in the way of games like Oregon Trail, or strategy games like Liberty or Death to give an idea of history, (it can be done well), but I do object to the idea of using games as a tool for political indoctrination.

    Given current political trends and how education is being handled these days, though, this “Ed Tech” endeavor is quite ominous.

    It’s both irritating and horrifying that the State keeps working ever more to drive a wedge to tear apart families and take more control over the lives of children. This isn’t good for the children, as it’s not good for their mental nor emotional development. “Ed Tech”, should it follow these trends (and in all likelihood, it will), is simply going to be another way to drive the wedge further.

    • SM

      Don’t worry. in 20 years it won’t separate families anymore because 3 generations will think exactly the same. This is their intention. to have a public with a one sided point of view.

  • Psyvenrix

    Great article ququ & azu_rayn. We all need to #ThinkSerious about how computers are used in education and the long term effects brought about by this shift in teaching the young.

  • scemar

    NO NO NO
    KEEP EDUCATION AWAY

    education is lost, the whole sector is entirely SJW infested
    trying to attach that parastye industry to videogames would only hurt videogames

    one of the reasons videogames did not succumb to the social engineering of the SJW side is the fact that videogames are still a purely capitalistic medium, sales are in charge of what gets produced not government committees

    also it’s harder to disguise propaganda as a game, harder than it is to do it with other mediums, people can swallow bad stories more easily than bad gameplay

    • SM

      Nothing is safe from propaganda.Not even videogames. frankly i don’t think that having walking simulators in school will be different to having “learn to math” in primary schools. Kids will enjoy it maybe. But after all… It will be just educational oriented. That means they will see walking simulators as chore. and will want to liberate themselves with something actually fun.

      Teachers may tell you to read history. But in your free time you will read fantasy, or just read comics. What it is important is. Schools since… like 50 years ago isn’t teching people to think for themselves. I didn’t have philosophy in my highschool and i don’t know how good is philosphy in highschools anyway. if it is even a asignment. History lessons are too one sided. And actually, everything in schools is pretty much one-sided.

  • Maintenance Renegade

    This article doesn’t even touch on the darkest possibilities. Imagine something like say The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us or Life is Strange being used to furtively root out wrong-thinkers by how the kids being assessed tackle ethical quandaries and names automatically being added to employment blacklists.

    Sorry Billy but you don’t get to work in the tech industry because you saved the wrong person from the zombies when you were twelve.

    • SM

      That’s too stupid. But sadly is a posibility. Wrong thinking is becoming the new way to justify life lasting punishment

      • Maintenance Renegade

        Unfortunately alot of things that are true are intensely stupid and alot of intensely stupid ideas get implemented all the time. One thing I’ve noticed about Silly-Con Valley tycoons is that they’re almost all manipulative control freaks who think the villainous conspiracies in Deus Ex were meant as an instruction manual for them to follow.

  • Silence Dogood

    The problem with literature is that social justice is undermining people from having the opportunity to read things like 1984 and Animal Farm which teach about the evils of collectivism, marxism, stalinism, and -isms in general.

    • This is exactly it. While Social Justice education is spewing all it’s bile, any ‘counter education’ or ‘differing opinion’ is excluded, silenced, shamed and covered up.

      Virtually the same situation as the feminists and MRAs/MRM. Feminists are allowed to continuously spew their lies to the world, but the moment the MRA/MRM offers a counter or differing viewpoint (which is usually on real serious issues) they are immediately dismissed and ostracised.

      So feminism is praised, glorified and promoted, while the MRA/MRM is dismissed, ostracised and covered up.

      This is “equality” according to SJWs/feminists apparently.

      • SM

        Something to be expected from people that never grew up. In school anyone with a different point of view, any “outcast” will be mocked and alienated from “the group”.

        This works the same with Social Justice advocates. most of them act in this immature demeanor

    • SM

      I tell you this to anyone who consider himself a social justice.

      Watch “The Wave”. That pretty much is a movie about collective thinking and the dangers it can carry out.

  • Dgnfly

    Dark souls will be ok considering its a japanese product not an american one and japan isen’t riding on the political correct bullshit train.

    • SM

      Actually it is. Read about the Democrat party “achievements” in Japan.

      Political correctness enforcing is a plague. It’s spreading all over the globe. Sadly and ironically, only the most retrograde countries wich still believe in really old and outdated principles aren’t affected.

      I don’t know what’s going to happen in some years. But feminism is hitting hard with bullshit there. It’s a matter of years before it becomes intersectional and everything becomes feminism there aswell.

      • Dgnfly

        I know that they are trying to push it but they haven’t been able to get a big foothold on it, considering they also don’t care about the west idea of immigration. japan has old value and is very xenophobic which is kinda a good thing compared to how dangerous this millennials idea of PC culture is. it also stood up against the U.N and its so called defense of fictional characters.

  • The only educational reform should be to completely burn down all of these feminist ‘gender studies’ type Social Justice courses.

    I believe in free speech and expression, but when feminists constantly use it to slander, demonize and hate on the entire human male gender the line has been crossed.

    You see all the misandrist little shits on Tumblr, Facebook, etc. with the ‘Male Tears’ mugs? A vast majority of them is the result of these studies because they’ve been taught (not only from academia, but from mainstream media and entertainment media like MTV) to believe this crap.

    Then you have Anita Sarkeesian’s videos being used as ‘educational videos’ in schools to young children as well. Because they are so young and do not have the capacity to decide for themselves, a lot of them will grow up to believe that there really is “sexism against women” in EVERYTHING, making them very miserable for the rest of their lives if they don’t grow out of it. It’s indoctrination and child-abuse.

  • SM

    I don’t agree with this. In School you are sometimes forced to watch some movies and do reports on them. Also you are forced to play sports, sometimes sports you hate. However, people still play sports, still watch movies. And Will still find fun videogames. Either in the present or the past. People who wants challenge… Will find challenge.

    Though i agree with the point of “educating” people. The school system, from it’s very roots, is very indoctrinating. They don’t teach you how to think (something i learned in the university years later with scientific logic and philosophy), but WHAT to think.

    Though I live in Argentina. Is exactly the same here. They teach you this people is bad, this people is good. And they use the bad thing one side did and the good things the other did to proove it. Despite both sides being shitty in their own aspects. I Still think highschool should be less covered in sprinkles and present a more ample level of education where you learn world isn’t black and white, to choose your own side, By doing this thing where you present incomplete information (intentionally) you make your pupils think they have the moral highground by reciting what some teacher told them years ago. And when that’s challenged, They can’t reply, so they get mad at you. I was there, you probably were there.

    • Rayndrops

      The key word is Sometimes. If they forced students to watch boring SJW movies, then people would grow up hating movies too.

  • 950Hoon

    Better teach them something, and soon. Here in Central CA, the illegal aliens are operating freely and openly.
    And no matter what the rhetoric is about “sending them back”, and “Building a wall”, it is really obvious (to me, at least), that both sides of our political spectrum, want them here. Cheaper labor, no workers comp, no benefits, no nothing. Just use them to make money. For as much BS as they spew about creating jobs, making America great again, the economy growing, etc., everything they actually do, involves making money for themselves. Even so far as education is concerned. They aren’t worried about teaching our kids to think in an intelligent way. It seems that half of them want to make sure that they can beat some religion into them, and the other half want to make sure that the kids know that all problems in the world, are caused by “White Males”. And to make sure that someone that wants to cut their dong off, can piss wherever they want.

    Regarding the suggestion that they need Bibles in schools, uh…….no. I had a discussion with a co-worker about that. He belongs to a religion that rhymes with “Jehovah’s Witless”. When he said that schools should teach religion, gee, I wonder what religion he is talking about (?), I asked him what he taught his kids. Did he give them a choice (like my parents did, “this is what these people believe, this is what that other religion believes, those other guys have a different view, if it makes sense to you, do what you feel is right)? “I taught them ‘The Truth'”, which is Jehovah speak for “Our View”, and everyone else is wrong. I replied, “You didn’t give them a choice. You tried to brainwash them”. He didn’t talk to me again for 4 years. Which is fine with me, don’t need morons around me. But I digress.

    Teach them to think. Teach them to read and write, accurately, correctly. I see a lot of people, that while not stupid, can’t write above a 6th grade level. And advanced mathematics doesn’t hurt either. If they can code up some video games that do this, more power to them. Critical thinking. Problem solving. High Technology. Because, to be frank, the jobs we all had coming up, are going away. Our people are being displaced by people that shouldn’t be here, because making money is the most important thing, moving the country forward be damned.

  • Matthew Mitchum

    Heh, just play good ed-tech games like Brunegame, then it won’t be a problem. 😉

  • Matthew Mitchum

    Heh, just play good ed-tech games like Brunelleschi, then it won’t be a problem. ^_^

    • Rayndrops

      You don’t get to choose though. The ones who decide on the school curriculum are the ones who pick which games the students will play.

      • Matthew Mitchum

        True that, the Government interferes at the funding level also, one ‘EdTech’ game I know of got 100k from the Department of the Interior.