April 20th, 2013, 23:33 Posted By: wraggster
It's only been a few weeks, but I can't help but feel a little ashamed of my last Joystiq post about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Reading it from my current, semi-experienced perspective, the piece feels like an excited first-grader telling a long and involved story about learning to tie his shoes. To be fair, my revised take on things comes from a slightly embarrassing wealth of invested time; I've sunk 30 additional hours into the game since my initial column, and when I sat down to write about learning the ropes of MH3U, I'd barely hunted monster one.
Looking back at the knowledge I picked up since then, and the numerous intricacies I've yet to figure out, it dawned on me why Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has made every other game in my presence go completely neglected. Capcom has refined its specific brand of action-RPG into a trial-by-fire experience that requires constant hypothesizing and experimenting – pure brain candy for us unlucky folks whose minds crave constant stimulation.
Of course, you don't have to take it from me; real academic-type people have picked up on this same value of playing video games – even if said people haven't necessarily jumped on the Monster Hunter train yet. When I taught a college writing course during my grad school days, I used James Paul Gee'sWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (yes, all academic book titles must be this clunky by law) to inform groups of mostly bored 18-year-olds about how gaming can actually increase our problem-solving skills.
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