Finally, the world is starting to figure out that learning through video games doesn’t have to be lame! Why is it that so many people think that good video game entertainment and a good learning experience are mutually exclusive to each other? Perhaps, it began in elementary school when the only “video game” approved by teachers was OREGON TRAIL. (Yup, I just gave away my generation).
A recent NPR piece illuminated the truth that gamers can have a great educational experience even if the game wasn’t “specifically designed” to be an educational game.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Take books, for example. Not all books are written to give you an “educational experience.” However, most parents would be very happy if their child is picked up a book on just about ANYTHING. The process of reading is enough of an educational experience.
The same is true with gaming.
Aside from the fact that many games have a historical context to them (which is, of course, educational), just the process of trying to “do your best” to win, is a good exercise and educational experience. It teaches patience, perseverance, and dedication. It can also help teach goal-keeping, when trying to conquer elements of a game.
There is so much in this world to learn. There’s learning that happens in the classroom and learning that happens outside of the classroom. Frankly, we are CONSTANTLY learning. I contend, that the best learning happens when we actively seek out ways to better ourselves. If the “lesson” is teaching us to be better humans, then ditch the lesson altogether. It’s a wellness paradigm that has served me well and is reflected perfectly in this yoga blog I follow.
So, while the world is shut-down in pandemic mode, perhaps parents should chill out a little more when their kids want to play a video game.
They just might learn something.