Educational games are designed to help people learn particular subjects, acquire a skill, understand historical and cultural happenings, or reinforce concepts. While some game designers intentionally develop games for educational purposes, some games are incidentally educational.
Nowadays, video, card, and board games are being used widely by institutions and parents to educate children. However, game-based learning is not a new phenomenon. In the past, games were used for educational purposes such as coaching soldiers for war. How do games help people learn?
How people learn through games
Because games are interactive, they help you to learn through involvement, motivation, creativity, emotion, adrenalin, social interaction, enjoyment and ego gratification. Games teach players how to attain goals, solve problems, think creatively, follow rules, and adaptation through storytelling. Games help people to learn by:
- Offering incremental levels of difficulty which helps to prevent the boredom of easy tasks and the frustration of difficult ones.
- Allowing social interaction through multiplayer settings where gamers can share their experiences and tips for success.
- Enabling players to be in control of when to play and create their own experiences unlike in classes where you have to sit and listen to the teacher.
- Providing instant feedback that enables players to adjust their strategy and know how they are performing in the game.
What kind of games are educational?
Games create active and engaging environments that support learning through practice. Whether they are playing card, board, or video games, learners can explore and experiment on how to solve problems without the guidance of a teacher. Educational games should have elements that complement learning goals such as:
Strategy and chance
Games that are strategy-based give learners control to make decisions that will increase their odds of achieving a goal while winning in chance-based is not based on control or decision making. Chance-based games keep players engaged because they have little control over the outcome. The best educational games combine both strategy and chance to give learners a little control over the game and keep it interesting.
A game that has characters, plot, tension, and conflict helps players to remember facts easily, and this motivates players to learn. Often, games have a storyline that is inserted within the game or a theme that runs throughout the game.
Educational games allow players to earn points and other keepsakes, giving them a sense of satisfaction for attaining goals and accomplishing tasks. A popular strategy used by designers is giving learners rewards for performance rather than completion. Offering rewards for completion encourages the learner to complete a game without understanding the concepts in the game.
Visuals pull and immerse people into a game. Well-done graphics add entertainment value to educational games, encouraging learners to play more.
Parents ought to ensure that the games children play are downloaded from trustworthy sources. By using VPN to activate games on steam, players can ensure security, privacy, and speed. Through games, learners can learn their weakness and strengths, improve their problem-solving skills, gain intrinsic motivation, and transfer learning to other environments.