“If you think social media is powerful, keep an eye on immersive video games,” said American Futurist Noah Raford.
The games are so powerful that they can combine compelling narratives with interactive gameplay to create immersive and mind-blowing experiences. These games engage a wide range of people, regardless of their age, background, or interests. This makes video games a powerful medium for storytelling, entertainment, and education.
The use of video games for education, also known as “gamification,” has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because video games can be an effective and captivating way to teach a variety of subjects, from math and science to history and language arts. Average American teen spends half of their time playing video games.
A survey done by PEW Research Center showed that 86% of teens play video games on PlayStation and 48% use a cell phone to play games. Five favorite games of these teens are Guitar Hero (Rhythm game), Halo 3(Shooting game), Madden NFL(Sport game), Solitaire(Card Game), and Dance Dance Revolution(Rhythm game). 50% of American boys prefer playing an adult game or a violent game.
19% of parents reported that video games had a positive influence on their children. To verify this statement a study was done by the University of UNION, the university of Hafr AI-Batin, the Arab Open University in Kuwait, and the University of Belgrade in Serbia. The scientists created two groups to examine the behavior of gamers and non-gamers.
One group was of heavy gamers and the other ones consisted of light gamers or non-gamers. It showed the first group who believed in the “work hard, play hard” concept scored excellent on their exams. Wherein the second group performed poorly in academics and also had poor soft skills.
The impact of video games on education
Various market research revealed that by 2025 the international market of video games will be valued at around US$268.8 Billion. This is greater than the audio-visual content streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO, and Disney+. Even larger than Hollywood.
It will not happen only because millions of people play video games as an escape route, but also use them for gaining knowledge. Famous education writer Greg Toppo concluded in his critically acclaimed book “The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter” that we should start utilizing video games in the classroom to facilitate the learning process.
The History of Educational Video Games
The origin of educational video games was around the 1980s. The graphics of these games were not as refined as the present time. However, it helped students to connect with technology and build a solid foundation.
Those games showed that learning can be fun too. Some of the iconic educational video games of that time were The Oregon Trail, Pong, Snooper Troops, Odell Lake, and Math Blaster.
There are three main factors for the popularity of educational video games.
1. Makes learning thrilling: Video games taught us studying doesn’t have to be boring. Kids can learn significant lessons joyfully.
2. Increases the motivation of the kids: When humans expect to receive a reward, some neurons in different regions of the brain get activated and release dopamine. It creates powerful emotional reactions which boost our motivation level. The same thing happens in video games. The medals, extra lives, and bonus keeps the kids invested in their education and also motivate them to achieve more.
3. Develops the habit of practice: Students apply their recently acquired strategy in the game and encourage themselves to learn more about a different aspect of the game. This helps to develop the habit of practice.
But many parents are still fearful of the effects of video games on their kids. They think it will adversely influence their academic record. However, in reality, video games improve the concentration power, creativity, memory, and problem-solving skills of the kid.
The perks of playing video games
Video games have long been considered a form of entertainment, but they can also be a powerful tool for learning. The usage of these games in education can assist in improving motivation and engagement among learners. Here are some perks of playing video games.
1. Boosts the problem-solving skills of the kids: In video games, the player needs to respond quickly to win the match. This practice enhances the troubleshooting skills of the students. Further, they get habituated to solving problems within the time limit.
2. Helps kids to stay in touch in STEM: STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, engineering, and math. The need for the STEM workforce in the future is enormous. Still every year thousands of students drop out or switch from these subjects because of difficulties in understanding the initial chapters like Calculus.
To make the subject easy, the University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M University developed calculus games. It made the learning process simple.
3. Enroots the teamwork mindset: Games like Halo and Rock Band encourage their users to collaborate and engage as a team to complete tasks. It is extremely beneficial for developing a team player mindset. Multiplayer games also enhance the same mentality.
4. Provokes out-of-the-box thinking: Creative problem-solving is the most demanding futuristic skill. Dragon-Box Algebra, Civilization, and ARTe: Mecenas provokes this thinking. Kids learn through experimental education. They confront real-world problems and gain knowledge on how to tackle them in a safe environment.
5. Hones leadership skills: As video games put the player in the driving sit, their leadership ability improves. They learn to resolve disputes, interact with other team players, and make decisions.
6. Learns to accept failure: Failure is a part of success. In video games, players learn how to accept failure. They correct themselves and try again without any external motivation.
7. Improves communication skills: In multiplayer video games, leaders need to communicate with various team players to execute a strategy. It improves their soft skills.
The one significant downside of video games is that they can cause gaming disorders. But it can be avoided by following simple instructions.
Instructions for parents
Andrew Przybylski, a Psychiatrist at the Internet Institute at Oxford University, shared a research insight about how long kids should be allowed to video gaming. He said kids who played video games for 30–40 minutes were more emotionally stable than the players who were playing for around 4–5 hours a day. So by effective moderation, children can activate the pros of video games without facing any consequences.
You can follow these simple steps to keep your child safe.
1. Check what type of video games your kid is playing. Only allow the educational one.
2. Ask your kid’s friends for a collaborative match. It strengthens the friendship bond.
3. Set a time limit to decrease the chance of forming a gaming addiction.
4. Do not let your kid sit too close to the screen.
5. Every video game has age limits. Check the ESRB rating before buying it.
6. Give the kid the freedom to find out solutions for themselves.
7. After the game session ends, give them a quick review and ask them to share their learning.
It is important to note that not all games are suitable for learning. So be careful while selecting games. Make sure they align with your little ones learning objectives and standards.
Here at TomoClub, we provide a positive space for kids so that they can learn from playing games and get along with different people. Children hone valuable life skills in the comfort of their homes. Join our demo sessions to understand what we do and how we do it.