In the ’90s, the kids used to go out and play and do all different kinds of fun activities. But now the times have changed. Digitization has revamped the face of games and fun activities across the world. Today, when a child says “I’m playing”, s(he) more often than not is referring to video games. A study showed that 89% of gamers believe that gaming is beneficial to society in some way or the other, and 66% of them said that gaming has helped them make friends.
A person can retain the actions taken in a video game they played in the 7th-Grade more easily than they can remember what was taught to them in the 7th-Grade. Studies have shown that video games can increase a person’s attention levels along with their visuospatial skills. This can and has been used as a way to impart education to students. Despite the criticism, it is true that video games are now being promoted to be used in the education sector.
Gaming is now being used as a learning tool. Why though? There are adequate educational tools that are already being utilized, then why gaming? It is because the institutions have witnessed that video games tend to improve the focus and concentration of the students. That is why they are so addictive. And who wouldn’t want their students to be addicted to learning while having fun? Video games have a functional and structural effect on the neural reward system, which is responsible for incentive salience. Incentive salience is cognitive progress that triggers the motivation, pleasure, learning, and the desire related behaviors. That is why gaming induced learning is being put to use.
There have been several game-learning models in the industry, one of them being the blend of gaming and practical application. Educators are using gaming principles and developing similar quests that the students need to get through. These quests comprise tasks based on the lessons and a rewarding system, from which the students can earn points and use for certain class privileges and also lose points for bad behavior resulting in loss of those privileges. Privileges could be extended play-time, new challenges, etc. with the progress of their character in the game, they can progress in their learnings too alongside improving their critical thinking.
Gaming has also been seen as a way of teaching students the acceptance of failure. Students are being taught that failure is a part of life and the games. When in the game, a student loses, s(he) is given another chance to get through that level, now with an experience of what they did wrong in the previous one. It was a lesson and they learned from it to do better in the next chance. It was also a lesson that students should appreciate the wins of their opponents. Video games are being used to teach students teamwork through the option of team-players and competitions. Here, gaming is used as a side-line but still gets the work done. Students learn soft-skills and social factors.
Today, gaming can teach almost every subject including – algebra, English, history, business management, logistics, and many more. There was a case that shared how students learned a subject they previously referred to as ‘boring’ from a game. This game provided users a layout of historical periods and taught the gamers history lessons. There are also personalized game-learning programs for institutions where the teacher is the educator in the form of a Game-Master and the students are gamers who have to cross different levels and win the game.
Meta-analytics have been used to develop business simulation games that are helpful in teaching students to learn business lessons in the form of games where –
These are all games developed by keeping in mind the curriculum of schools and colleges, making theoretical subjects easy to understand and implement them practically.
Apart from theoretical subjects, game-learning solutions are also developed for training and teaching students certain skills.
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Gamification to develop interactive gaming modules for the students is the future of gaming blended with the education industry. It allows students to have their fun and not feel saturated or bored while learning. Though there has been no direct study proving the effectiveness of gaming in education, it leaves a wide scope for the same. Testing alone cannot be used as a shred of evidence, therefore, scientific studies proving them will achieve credibility. The infamous effects of gaming should not determine its future solely. The coin needs to turn and innovations making them deliverers of education should be done. There are several promising pilots that need to be polished and a better, a more efficient solution needs to be created. This will reform and optimize the learning processes across the industry. A promising future is in store if gaming and video games are actually induced in the regular every-day lectures of the students, accelerating their critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills. It is critical that we embrace the complexity and surpass the negative views people have about gaming for students.