Educational Opportunities In Video Games

There are lessons in those Thar games!

Who would have thought that video games – a form of entertainment – could improve the minds of those who play them! The truth is that among all the beautiful graphics, fantastic music, and intriguing storylines, educational opportunities are plentiful – and to find them, just look a little closer.

1. Video games enhance strategic thinking.

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Rare is the video game that does not require the player to make a decision two or three steps ahead of a current situation. With constant play, players quickly learn the advantage of strategic thinking and begin applying it to real world opportunities.

2. Video games improve problem solving. While the same can be said of any game, video games have proven, study after study, to improve problem solving skills. This is because most (if not all) games are centered around a problem and therefore challenge the player to solve it. In a single game, a player can solve three to a hundred or more different problems.

3. Video games improve hand and eye coordination. If you find it hard to believe, grab a game controller and try moving around the game. Manipulating a game controller requires the same skills needed to maneuver a mouse on a computer screen.

4. Video games facilitate quick decision making. One of the qualities of video games that lends itself to quick decision making is its improvised situations. The element of surprise is always around the corner and is what makes games exciting to play. To win, however, players need to be able to make smart decisions in a very short amount of time.

5. Video games fuel the imagination. We don’t really understand the argument against things like television, videos and games where people use a lack of imagination to support their side of the debate. Some people claim that video games take away the imagination because games supply the mind with things instead of encouraging it to invent these things on its own. Keep in mind that these are the same people who say a stack of blocks is enough for a child’s imagination to grow. Obviously we couldn’t disagree more. The images in video games only fuel the imagination and give it a springboard to form new possibilities that otherwise would not have occurred.

6. Video games encourage exploration. In RPGs, players must venture off the beaten track and explore the unknown. They have to open doors without knowing what’s behind them. They must enter the areas of the game without knowing the consequences. And they have to interact with characters they’ve never met before. Within these particular types of games, the opportunity to muster the courage to explore unknown territories is not only available, it is needed.

7. Video games require memorization. Another feature of video games is its strong influence on memorization. The terrain depicted within some of these games is huge, but accessing the maps can be cumbersome and destructive to the game. To compensate, players will not only memorize a large portion of the terrain, but will remember the activities required to reach specific areas.

8. Video games teach consequences. All computer and video games work on the principle of “action – reaction”. Do something and the game will react. This is a great opportunity to know the consequences, regardless of whether this opportunity is experienced from a gamer’s point of view or from a programmer’s point of view.

9. Video games teach patience, dedication and endurance. No great game can be won in one day. In fact, some of the best and most popular games take weeks or months to complete.

These are just some of the educational opportunities hidden in video games and computer games. After a deeper analysis, we’re sure you’ll find more besides hours of fun and amazement.

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