This article addresses three questions. First, what is the deep pleasure that humans take from video games? Second, what is the relationship between video games and real life? Third, what do the answers to these questions have to do with learning? Good commercial video games are deep technologies for recruiting learning as a form of profound pleasure, and have much to tell us about what learning could look like in the future should we relinquish the old grammars of traditional schooling. They are extensions of life insofar as they recruit and externalize some fundamental features of how humans orientate themselves in and to the real world when operating at their best. Video games create a projective stance in the sense of a stance toward the world in which we see the world simultaneously as a project imposed on us and as a site onto which we can actively project our desires, values and goals. A special category of games allows players to enact the projective stance of an ‘authentic professional’, thereby experiencing deep expertise of the kind that so widely eludes learners in school.
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