The Educational Properties of Video Games

February 26, 2010
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The Educational Properties of Video Games

Video games are often thought upon as mind rotting distractions from real life. It was not until recently that scientists have found the potential that these have on children. Instead of having a parent telling a child to study, the child goes to the computer and puts one or two hours of studying in. Video games are not only the perfect teachers due to their natures, but they also attract the attention of the children because of their bright colors etc… This is why lately more and more classrooms have been getting computers and game systems to “reward” the students when they are really learning even more. (, Educators Turn to Games for Help.)
While this may not be true with games such as “Grand Theft Auto,” games such as “Sim City” and “Age of Empires” do increase a child’s strategic thinking and planning skills. Some video games even increase other skills, such as motor skills. (BBC News, Video games 'stimulate learning'.) "Adventure, quest and simulation type games have a lot of benefit - they're quite complex and create a context in which children can develop important skills," according to Professor Angela McFarlane, leader of Teachers Evaluating Educational Multimedia (TEEM.) Even the Federation of American Scientists who focus on Nuclear Weaponry and Government Secrecy declared that video games can redefine education (Seattle Times, Scientists say video games can reshape education.)

The reason that video games have the potential to be great teacher is because they keep a child’s mind focused on it, different than a human teacher. While a distracted child will find it hard to learn, they will probably not mind playing a video game for a half an hour or so. Little do they know that they are also learning as well. Also, while a human teacher’s patience is limited, the video game never gives up on entertaining and educating the child. Children will enjoy playing the game, and although they think that it is a break from all the learning that they had to put up with, it is more education for them.

More and more parents and teachers have been turning to games to educate their children/students. Parents for example can use a game with set levels to test their child and see if they require more studying for if they are ready for a test. Teachers can use games to help unmotivated students practice for quizzes without the student being distracted. More and more educators have realized that the educational values of video games are extremely high, and could possibly get higher.

The video game industry is seeing major changes. Soon it will be as large as all other industries, or larger, due its massive potential. Video games can teach children without much motivation because the children do not think that they are actually learning, although they are. It is not a replacement to schools, but an enhancement. In the near future classrooms and houses all over the country will have a computer with video games for educational purposes. Education is seeing a major change, and it is right around the corner.

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