How video gaming makes me a better math student

“How video gaming makes me a better math student,”


“While I was doing my Online Stats homework.”

Serendipity might be an appropriate word:  something I learned along the way.

Basically, I picked up a cool crafting material collecting trick through persistence and trial-and-error.   While doing my math homework (on my other PC screen) and playing SWTOR online:  Star Wars the Old Republic.

It all began with embarrassment about a week ago.  I asked my online teacher to reopen an online quiz because I had missed the due date.  Yikes.  AND I am a teacher myself.  Awkward!  I make a habit of showing students how to configure their notifications/settings, so they NEVER miss a due date.  Somehow my notifications were turned off.  Apparently, the online host “reset” all the settings at the beginning of a new term!???  Note to self:  Please check settings and notifications in online learning host at beginning of EVERY semester.  With that being said, I will continue.

So, with a small midsummer break, I decided to get ahead on my math homework.  Good choice.  On Friday night, I spent all of my time doing my online stats homework online and taking a chapter quiz.  While playing a video game.  I was collecting crafting materials on a planet much higher than the level of the toon I was playing: level 58 versus level 32.  No match.  Reminds me of the talent mismatch I often feel when trying to do math.  Hello.

Motivations?  I wanted to pair something worthwhile with another worthwhile thing.  Crafting and material collecting takes time.  So does math homework.  I thought, “Let’s do both!”  Multitasking.  Making life tolerable.

When I collect high level crafting materials in SWTOR, I can sell them on the GTN (Galactic Trade Network) for lots of credits…..makes the gaming experience easier, when the creds are freely flowing!

The problem I faced was that the developers placed many of the materials for gathering near mobs or monsters.  (Again, reminds me of math learning, at times.)  Not a problem if my player level matches the foe(s).  In this case, I was 26 levels too low to compete.  Actually about 24 levels (I can compete a couple of levels below an opponent, but not much less).

I learned in my game (through repetition) that I could lure a monster away from the loot and then go and collect the crafting materials while he was distracted.  And again afterward.

Farming trick SWTOR video crafting materials collected
Picking up the loot! Bioanalysis crafting material on Yavin 4.

*Spoiler Alert* If shooting games or shooting videos are offensive to you, please stop reading now!  And don’t watch the video following.

Video link:  SWTOR farming trick for low level toons on high level planets


Video commentary:  I got knocked down while “aggravating” the monster.  I picked myself up and kept going.  Backpedaling, but moving.  I knew my plan.  I had a plan.  Even in the face of a setback.

Farming trick SWTOR video monster knocks me to the ground
Math homework AND gaming: When you fall, get back up!

Gaming is like doing math.  This week, when I did my math statistics mid-term and got the lowest B possible, I felt insulted.  I don’t make B’s!  I make A’s!  (Apparently, I make B’s and C’s and so forth in stats.)  Acceptance of reality.  I got knocked down but got back up.   I made the conscious decision to take my Friday night and attempt to get ahead in my math class.  I do not need to be behind in my math class.  Not even up to date.  Ahead.  Plan ahead.  That is key for me in conquering my “monsters” in math.

Persistence is key in gaming and in math.

Happy gaming and math questing!

Video link:  Grandma Barnes says A+ 100!

Brother Barnes (your brother in the struggle)


I also explained “line of sight,” in the gaming video above.  When I teach the foramina of the skull:  lacerum, ovale and spinosum, I tell my students that I remember the correct order from the middle of the skull by LOS: “line of sight.”  The foramen lacerum is most medial, ovale is middle and spinosum is lateral.

Video link :  Internal features of the skull





  1. I used to play LOTRO a lot. Farming crafting supplies while doing homework is genius lol. One of these days I’ll be able to get a decent setup and start gaming again.


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