How Games are EducationalFeb 1, 2015 | 0 Votes - rate Many of us assume that games are purely for fun, but there are is also a huge range of educational options available too. In this article we will discuss the relation between games and learning.
There are many different skills that go into playing a game, some of them are so obvious we don’t really notice them, others are learned by practice and some can be taught to you too. There are also games that specifically go out of their way to teach or be educational, though they are aimed at children they can still be fun. And then you have the games that are aimed at adults, but have something to teach, or by simply playing you can improve skills.
Lets start at the very beginning, to be able to play a game you have to be able to read, it sounds simple and many of us just gloss over it, but when you are learning to read at a young age, the instructions for a game can be complicated. Playing games can, in a small way increase your reading skills. Many of the childrens games try to do exactly that, use simple recognizable words for children.
But games also teach basic mathematics too, even the simple match 3 games, are exactly that counting and matching 3 of the same color or shape together. You are also often asked to collect a currency to then spend on new items you need, or on the games themselves. Adding up numbers and working out how many you need is a staple of games.
And then you have specific children’s games, often virtual worlds where they are engaged with bright colors and fun characters. From there they are able to explore a safe environment with things to learn and fun games to play. Not every virtual world has a high value, some games aimed at children are just purely for fun but there are others that are created solely for making educational fun.
Many of the childrens games, or for those aimed at a slightly older tween or teen audience have specific pages telling parents what the games have, how they help your child and what safety measures and restrictions are in place to protect children. Here you can see at a glance what your child may be getting out of the game, and that can never be a bad thing.
But even in the world of games aimed at adults, there is still a lot of useful information and education to be found. In some virtual worlds there are even adult education courses and lectures by university professors. These places are still games, you can still be someone else and run around beautiful or fun places, but you can also stop by to learn something new.
And then we can take a look at something like Minecraft, while it is very much a game and there are millions of adult players, you can also use it to teach skills to children. About almost any subject, mathematics, geography even social interaction. The fact you can build anything means you can create a beach to show coastal erosion, or a forest and fill it with wildlife to show children what to expect in that environment. The only limit to what we can do is our imagination and almost anything can be used in a positive way.
But lets not forget, games are often played with other people and they can have a social value as well as academic. Typing or chatting to people your own age is important, and of course you have to be aware of rude kids and the safety aspects of being online. But you can not miss the chance for you or your children to make friends and have fun in games, as well as play word games together.
There are and always will be games that are just that, fun and nothing more but don’t be afraid to try new things, or look for games that advertise themselves as educational, you never know what gem you may find or what the kids will learn. This is by no means a comprehensive or full list of everything you can see and learn in a game, but we hope we inspired you to go and look for something new.