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BP Underwater ROV's: Will Video Gamers Save The Day?

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Video Games by henry9112

Today, July 10, The Wall Street Journal reported online that BP engineers began work to "install a new, tighter fitting containment cap that could help allow the recovery of all the oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico leak within two to three weeks".

Recovery of all the oil gushing from the Gulf - just typing that brings me some hope of an end to this environmental nightmare. Installment of this cap at such depths in the ocean depends upon the use of underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs).

The delicate controls of these ROVs are said to be analogous to the popular joy sticks used in video games, such as PlayStation, according to a recent NBC report. There is no doubt that video games are engaging and entertaining for both children and adults. While online activity and video games have been linked to a range of ills, from alarming rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes, to attention deficit disorder, there may well be some unintended benefits.

Recently, I wrote an OpEd about an initiative from the Obama administration to recruit video game designers, television programmers and scientists to enhance science and mathematics education. On average, children spend more than three hours per day on "screen activities", and this is likely an underestimate if you consider texting.

I believe that the allure of "screen activities", in whatever form they take, can be used as effective teaching tools. More and more, educators are using video games and "screen activities" to teach a range of subjects, such as conflict resolution as well as science and math. Engaging a student is one of the biggest challenges for any teacher, and a child playing a video game is a model of attentiveness. Why not use this as an opportunity?

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After all, learning should be fun.

Imagine that young BP engineer manipulating the delicate controls of an underwater ROV with primary responsibility for affixing the containment cap that we have all been waiting for. {What took so long?} Perhaps the hours he or she spent engrossed in video games will make this all important task as easy as controlling an Avatar.

Regardless, I wait breathlessly for good news coming from the Gulf soon as our collective patience runs thin.


Jeffrey H. Toney is Dean of the College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences at Kean University and is a Trusted Author at OpEdNews. He received a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Virginia and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at Northwestern (more...)

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Canvideo games and other "screen activities" provi... by Jeffrey Toney on Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 3:58:22 AM
Headline article!... by Jeffrey Toney on Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 9:29:06 AM
Video-game skills will not save the day at the wel... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 8:19:59 PM
Thank you for your comment. Are you referring to ... by Jeffrey Toney on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 8:30:49 AM
Card's Ender series, or at least the first book, h... by Richard Pietrasz on Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:37:17 PM