Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

People spend 3 billion hours a week playing video games. That’s a lot! Are we wasting our time? Or is there a benefit to playing video games?

There is a compelling argument for games. The contribution of video games to the educational process is clear. As more and more people choose to play video games as a way of spending their leisure time, more and more studies on the educational effects of video games are also emerging.

But before we talk about video games and education, let’s try to understand why gaming is experiencing a surge in popularity.

Video games and psychological needs

Video games-especially in education-have a significant impact on our psychology. This has turned “gamification” into a science with a large role in the psychological aspect.

Gamification is the addition of gaming techniques, such as achievement and scoring, to non-gaming areas of life to explore the educational potential of video games. And as practice shows it is a working method, students learn the subject better, and less turn to the write my essay for me service.

Why are games addictive?

They set a specific goal. In real life, we set our own goals and decide how to achieve them. But that’s not the case with games, where everything is decided for us. They satisfy the need to feel effective. We are pleased to feel the progress of completing tasks, even if they are virtual. This important feature can be used in game-based learning technologies.

Popular online games stimulate the release of the joy hormone, dopamine when we see our achievements and get points or game bonuses.

In games, simple tasks are set in the beginning and gradually become more difficult. This makes it easier for us to enter the flow state. The state of flow implies such a high involvement of the person in the case that time flies unnoticed. Some games have a social aspect, which allows you to spend time with virtual friends. Finally, it’s fun to play. Without fun, the other reasons wouldn’t matter. Playing means overcoming challenges, having fun, and enjoying yourself at the same time. But the best games on your phone and other devices can also teach.

Study for excellence

And, worst of all, they are intimidated by bad grades that risk falling behind their peers.

For many, this causes stress. However, we are not interested in criticism of education, and the role of gaming in it.

Games can attract and bring joy, and thus immerse in an optimal state for learning. They can teach problem-solving, teach math, physics, history, languages, and other humanities. The list goes on.

Comprehensive and relevant education

In addition, video games (and games in general) are supposed to help solve the difficulties of getting an education and finding a job.

The current educational system is designed to train professionals who work in one place for a lifetime. But the world around us is changing.

New generations, new habits

According to the latest data, the average American is changing up to 10 jobs by the age of 45. And with new occupations appearing every year, this trend will only increase. With the development of AI and robotics in the future, new professions will emerge and old ones will be forgotten.

Game-based learning technologies, engaging and expansive, can teach future generations how to work and interact with robots.

So, games facilitate learning. But will they help overcome real-world problems? Let’s look at practical examples of game-based learning technologies.

Video games in education: real examples

Minecraft is a game where you can mine resources and then build structures of varying complexity from them.

The game world consists of cubic blocks, so building requires some planning skills and a basic knowledge of mathematics.

Like other educational games, Minecraft helps teach programming and math and develops teamwork skills. But this has recently been taken to the next level.

Playing Minecraft in the classroom

In 2016, Mojang partnered with Microsoft to release Minecraft Education Edition. This version was created specifically for schools. It includes several improvements that make it easier to teach programming and optimize collaboration.

A one-year license for Minecraft Education Edition costs just $5 for a single student. And schools will get a free license for the first year if they upgrade their Windows operating systems. This low price makes the game affordable for all students. Minecraft is not the only example of gamification in education.

Learning games and solving modern problems

Then there’s SimCityEdu, which develops the skills needed to live in the 21st century. A recent update to SimCityEdu is called Pollution Challenge. Here, students have to build a city in the face of climate change. In this way, online PC games teach you to solve real-world problems.

SimCity as a whole allows you to learn more about urban planning, resource management, and more. It is good to know that games help change the education system. Some schools are completely based on game-based learning technologies.

A new level of video games in education: gamification of classrooms

In 2007 a team of New York game designers founded the Institute of Play, a nonprofit company. Based on the principles of game design, they develop school projects, design educational programs, and curricula, and even hold corporate seminars. Not only video games are used, but other types of games are as well. They call these schools “The Way of Knowledge.

Game-based learning technologies are more complex than they seem

Some educational online resources work on a similar principle. Codecademy uses gamification to teach programming.

There are other similar projects. Duolingo allows you to learn languages and get virtual rewards.

Even serious specialists, such as surgeons, will soon be able to be trained through video games. Robotic surgery is a relatively new field in medicine that helps surgeons perform complex tasks using robotics. For example, to operate on brain tumors.

Of course, this requires precision, perfect coordination of movements, and nerves of steel.

All the more important is a study by Dr. Sami Kilic and his colleagues (the University of Texas at Galveston), according to which first-person shooters can improve relevant skills in surgeons.

The robotic surgeon has a lot in common with the game console: it, too, is controlled with two hands using an analog of joysticks and displays the process on the screen. Surgeons themselves learn how to work with robots on special simulators.

Another 2007 study showed that doctors who played video games did better on a simulator. Apparently, games really are useful. So why isn’t gamification in education so widespread? Why are people skeptical of the idea of using video games in education?

The Future of Game-Based Learning

But we can be happy for future generations because the innovations look promising. Perhaps Minecraft Education Edition and SimCityEdu will be the beginning of a new genre of educational games.

The financial help from major companies like Microsoft, along with the general acceptance of the idea of using games in the educational process, bodes well for the future.

Educational video games will reach significant heights in the coming years. The more research that is done and the more teachers learn about the benefits of game-based learning technologies, the faster these technologies will be integrated into the classroom.

By admin