In college, we get stressed all the time: doing homework with tight deadlines, passing exams, dealing with relationships, and other challenges that adult life provides. Even though you can always consider paying someone for homework, this doesn`t help you feel better. Video games are a universal solution to refresh your thoughts and get distracted from the real world and its problems. In most cases, teachers and parents are not happy about it, as video games take too much time that could have been spent more wisely. However, a recent study has shown that they can, in fact, be an effective way of engaging students in the educational process.
For example, video games need great STEM knowledge that makes students want to learn coding and other scientific disciplines. In this article, we will discuss how video games can be educational and help students increase their productivity with STEM subjects.
The value of video games in education
Smart-developed computer games make users come back for more. They give the player control over the character, offer different levels of complexity, and create a community of like-minders. That is what makes them so attractive. But these features (exploration and collaboration) can be used in the classroom as well. So how does playing games help students increase their productivity and get more interested and motivated in the learning process?
As a great example, you can check the game made by the researchers that teach students the fundamental knowledge of nanotechnology. It is based on a story of the scientist who has lost his notebook and travels the world recovering its pieces. Each level of the game requires a player to learn more about physics to be able to solve the task and move on. This makes educational games as successful as traditional shooters, if not more. Besides STEM topics, playing video games is a great way to explore programming science: when you are already engaged in the game, it makes you willing to discover what is hidden behind the curtain.
According to researchers, the contests provided in video games encourage students to develop such necessary skills as problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking that will be helpful far beyond college graduation. One thing is clear: video games can be not only distracting but also quite useful to make students interested in specific subjects. Here are some more reasons to name a few:
- Video games promote exploring the technologies, like programming languages and frameworks, design, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and much more;
- You get such important life skills as problem-solving, strategically thinking, cartography, decision making, survival, financial and logic skills, persistence, analyzing, and just being patient when necessary;
- Video games develop eye and hand coordination;
- Creative students can learn art techniques and get inspired by design and animated imagery;
- With video games students can learn different music genres and explore musical instruments playing (for example, you can check such games as Rock Band and Guitar Hero);
- Students grow not only in STEM subjects but also explore historical eras and learn about different events and settings;
- Students develop their social skills communicating with other players in chat and cooperating on solving another complex task;
- Video games are great stress relievers that help to relax and get more energy for solving new challenges and working on educational projects;
- Video games offer an individual approach to learning at a comfortable pace;
- They help to improve memory, mental clarity, typing, and motor skills, develop reasonable thinking;
- Introverts can interact with others safely and comfortably without any stress;
- Have we already mentioned basic programming? With many careers going online, these skills are pretty valuable to be gained as early as possible;
- When playing, you learn that failure is okay, and you need to keep trying.
The true value of games is that they simulate real-life situations and let students work on them. They should make decisions that affect their characters and then transform these skills into real life.