Video games have become authentic learning tools, although their benefit in education has raised a heated debate. Opponents claim that video games are pointless and mind-numbing in education, whereas proponents suggest that video games can boost learning. Meanwhile, parents should not be scared if their children are gamers, because the benefits of video games are in improving learning in the following ways.
Main Benefits of Video Games:
One of the video game benefits is that it boosts the memory and cognitive performance of a person. Gamers have increased brain activity in the hippocampus part of the brain that plays a role in learning and memory. Creative thinking and problem-solving require cognitive flexibility, which students can achieve through computer games. Video games allow students to think as a network instead of their own, and enable them to be free-thinkers.
Teach Basic Economics
Video games inflict digital scarcity, obliging players to compare the benefit incurring costs, making tradeoffs, and weighing the advantages of various courses of action. An excellent example occurs in the role-playing game (RPG) genre, where players encounter difficult decisions between skill trees and different specializations. Besides, cooperative players have to make tough choices, indicating the opportunity cost of choice instead of the memory cost. You may use game currency to purchase skills, but gamers know that the actual costs of their decisions are the skills they forego. In this case, acquiring virtual skills is unlike acquiring human capital. Professionals from Evolution-Host sure that video games also give players entrepreneurial thoughts. Entrepreneurs focus on solving problems in the marketplace and video games make them think the same in the virtual environment. Entrepreneurship, cost, and choice are a few economic concepts illustrated by using video games. The contribution of video games in teaching basic economics may be difficult to understand.
Another reason why video games are helpful is that they stimulate children to interact with their peers. They create a common platform for kids to make friends, hang out, play together and spend adequate time with their friends. Many games require plays to collaborate or compete against each other. Children tend not to enjoy playing alone. They are always in need of a partner to interact with. Instead of isolating themselves, they call their friends to keep them company and enjoy the game together. In the process, children refine their communication skills, helping them build a positive relationship and high self-esteem.
Learning of New Words
How can video games help you learn new words? Video games can help you improve comprehension, reading, and speaking skills. While struggling with vocabulary, they help you learn by practicing. In this perspective, video games need the incorporation of listening, reading and speaking. They give students the confidence to make language mistakes to learn. Students can practice the language and develop their cognitive and linguistic abilities during the process.
Improving Hand Motility
Hand motility is another way video games can be useful in learning. Today, people mostly use gaming pads to play computer games. Whether playing car racing or FIFA, you need to move your hands continuously to control the pads. The same occurs when playing games on your phone. In other words, computer games demand that you use your hand to control the game. This movement of hands improves hand motility. With hand motility, one’s ability to perform tasks that need the hand can increase.
Learning by doing
The use of video games can make learning more engaging. It teaches children to be more practical, which increases their ability to retain information. Video gaming also increases the participation of students in in-class activities. Children who were previously not participating in class can gain interest in class activities through video games. This case demonstrates how video gaming is a vital tool in learning.
Another reason why videogames are good for you is that they help you develop problem-solving skills. People who use video games are often challenged in various ways. Using computer games help students to solve those challenges within a short time. Educational games can provide specific content and reinforcement within the context of a problem or solution. Some games allow you to think of the problem and the appropriate solution to that problem. Playing such games increases your chances of becoming good problem-solvers.
Video games can help learners to develop non-cognitive skills such as patience, collaboration, and discipline that demonstrate how they behave and learn. Such skills are hard to get from a traditional classroom setting or a textbook. Many games require resilience and calculations to determine the next move. Rushing the game might lead to a loss. To win the game, you need to be patient and keen before making any decision. You can acquire those skills and apply them in life in the process.
They teach technical skills
Children may develop an interest in technology through video gaming. This is important for them because, through it, they can start building a career. For instance, kids exposed to computer games in class may have an interest in programming and coding, which may encourage them to take computer courses in college.
Gaming can also improve the attention of a learner. Most video games require concentration, and when incorporated in education can help students with difficulties in paying attention to stay focused on class activities. Today, it is one of the treatment approaches for students with Attention-deficiency hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although children with ADHD cannot pay attention, they can play video games for nine straight hours. Therefore, using video games in class would increase students’ ability with attention problems to pay attention in class. The impact of video games in boosting attention is an interesting topic that I need to research. However, it needs some psychological knowledge which I do not have.
Video games improve visual processing. Games can support the parts of the brain responsible for skills like spatial awareness. Students can have an immersive visual experience through video games. Normally, educational video games and simulators educate on computer programming, algebra, flight training, and biology. In particular, simulation games can enhance the development of soft skills in children, leading to an increase in self-esteem and leadership recognition, team-building, and socialization skills. Children gain an interest in what they see. Video games such as car racing and flight simulators give children a vision of driving a car or flying an airplane.
Gaming can Help in Group Work
Most educators admit that learning promotes socialization and cooperative learning to increase engagement and allow students to be quick learners, because they can learn from their peers. Video games can enhance group learning since games allow communication and team-work. Students can utilize these valuable skills in class to improve their academic performance.
Supporting the use of video games does not mean we are advocating for the implementation of computers in the classroom. However, there are a lot of benefits of video games. We have seen the advantages of video games in class, and we only encourage teachers to use them when necessary. Today, children are up to computer games as opposed to traditional play. Just like traditional play, video games have benefits in the learning process.
Nina Burkovskaya is a senior content writer at Raisetwice since 2020. She has 12 years of yoga experience and 5 years experience of motivational coaching. On a free time loves to read biographies of the famous people and go for a walk with her dog.