Video games as an educational tool

Most people fall into the error of thinking that video games are just entertainment. Sometimes they are even taken as a waste of time. However, the importance and the increasing presence that they have in our society dismantle these affirmations.

It is true that video games are transcendental when it comes to entertaining, but not only that. Video games influence our daily life in two more levels: the mythical , where we give meaning to life from heroes and supernatural adventures, and the educational, on which we will focus.

In the classrooms it is usually used literature or cinema to teach. Literature allows us to understand through the imagination, and the cinema educates through the audiovisual expression of certain events. However, in video games, the degree of interaction is greater and the way in which stories are told is different. These two aspects are fundamental to acquire a series of essential skills in the current era.

The serious games

When we talk about educational video games we can not avoid thinking about the ‘serious games’ . These video games are designed specifically to educate about a particular subject or practice a specific skill. They are aimed at all types of audiences and are available on different platforms , although the computer is usually the preferred device.

Within the serious games there are very varied games . We can find video games dedicated to training firefighter or police teams , teaching math, science and even languages.

The subject of language learning is one of the most important in the world of video games. Whether through a serious game like a classic videogame, users are forced to learn the language to complete the missions, understand the characters or simply understand the game’s menu.

Languages ​​are so important within the universe of video games that some even reward users with medals or rank increases if they have good writing within it. This forces users to learn the language yes or yes in order to complete the objectives of the game.  

The video game as a teaching method

The popularity of video games within the world of education has led to the emergence of the term game-based lerning . This is how the method that uses videogames for learning is known.

The most outstanding benefit of this type of teaching has to do with the format. The contents and skills that want to be taught are presented through video games, fleeing from books or lectures by teachers.

Thus, students learn in a new way adapted to our times, where technologies are as present as books. Proponents of this method think that a video game can be a fun and effective tool. In addition, they believe that increases the motivation of students, which favors them to want to play on a regular basis.

The classics are also worth

Before we talked about serious games, games designed specifically to educate but, what about the games of a lifetime? Classic games or games that are thought to be ‘entertaining’ also play a role in educating .

Professor Layton’s videogame saga is one of the best examples. In this title we must solve riddles to be able to advance in history. A perfect exercise for our mind. Another saga that follows the same line is Brain Age, recommended by the famous neurosurgeon Ryuta Kawashima. Even The Legend of Zelda exercises our capacity for analysis and thought by posing all kinds of puzzles if we want to reach the end.

However, we do not have to go alone to this type of games to find valid examples. Video games such as League of Legends, Starcraft and the like allow us to explore the meaning of life through epic questions. These games help us to understand the world and even to form a vision of ourselves.

Other games like Minecraft are very popular in the classrooms. This game helps to better understand the volumes and geometry. We can also learn history with games like the famous Assassin’s Creed . Besides entertaining us shows us the way of life of ancient cultures and past worlds.

In short, almost all video games have a part that helps us learn. Either through epicity, history, languages ​​or mental agility.

The influence of video games on life

Video games not only help us understand or exercise certain skills. Video games encourage the development of certain human abilities and needs without us noticing.

They favor our capacity for analysis and reflection. When we started a videogame we stopped to analyze its history and our objective, repairing issues that at first sight we would not consider.

Logically, they improve our speed of response and mental agility. We can not act slowly in games where speed often makes a difference.

They also encourage the development of the imagination, because many times to solve certain puzzles it is necessary to give free rein to our thinking.

Another interesting point is that video games favor our ability to analyze information. To continue playing our game we need to make a summary of what has happened in previous days throughout the game.

Undoubtedly, one of the most positive things that videogames bring us is the possibility of learning to work in a team and socialize with our classmates . Video games foster collaboration by creating something akin to a collaborative learning environment.

The fact that video games are an important educational weapon can not be denied. Logically, investing an excessive amount of time may end up being counterproductive. However, that is what educators are for, to control and help the educational capacity of video games be 100% effective.

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