Video Games: an educational tool

Entertainment. Probably this will be the first word to come to every gamer’s mind when they think about video games.  The development of technology and the easier accessibility to it has promoted that these kind of games have become one of the most usual hobbies, especially among the young multitude.

That is why in recent years there has been an important increase of supply and demand in video games. These two factors and the increasingly high users’ exigencies force the companies to differ from their more direct competition in order to be able to continue selling their products. Thus, promoting and reinforcing the development of new technologies and their working methods which final goal is innovation. This is why some enterprises have become to understand that video games is not just an entertainment tool.

Video Games can have other useful applications such as education or intellectual development.

Collage of video games packaging for PC and PSP

Traditionally, intelligence has been considered as a thing only measured by parameters as the intellectual coefficient. Nowadays, Howard Garner’s multiple intelligences theory is taking a stand. This new way of understanding intelligence has emphasized the need to find new ways of teaching and modern educational methods that will adapt to the new times. In my opinion, we should try to discover these aptitudes as soon as possible. The early detection of these motivations would help to achieve a better professionalization. At the same time, it would face academic failure and school dropouts. And, it is at this point where video games appear. It is  a good way to detect student’s motivation and to promote their capacities and intelligences development.

Eight multiple intelligences infographic with eight icons surrounding a brain.A concrete example, could be a belated birthday present a friend gave me.  The name of the game is ‘Roller Coaster Tycoon World’, a video game created by Atari. This is a simulation video game where you can manage and build your own business theme park. In the latest version they have implemented the possibility of importing tridimensional characters and scenarios beyond other compatible softwares with Unity, a video game motor.  This would be a clear example of video games that strengthen children’s creative capacity and exercise spatial and visual intelligence.

Screenshot of Video Game Coaster Tycoon World

Thanks to Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, teachers and students have multiple options. In this case, we will find on the market applications such as Chromville Science developed by our team work. This app allows the users to visualize by means of Augmented Reality the inside of a human body. In this specific coloring page, the gamer recognizes each of the bones and muscles that the human body shelters. In this sense, motivated by the use of these new technological tools kids learn in an effective and entertaining way human anatomy. At the same time, they develop Gardner’s multiple intelligences.

Human Body with muscles in a Video Game Augmented Reality experience

Parents and the society as well should be aware of this huge opportunity. Instead of forbid kids to play a video game, we should think how this can contribute to their capacities. Like this, when they will be playing and enjoying they will also be learning. Consequently, this type of games should be used as an educational tool as a support to the traditional teaching, by complementing it and helping the student to progress in his professional career. Learning how to use the available resources that are at our disposal in a suitable way will help us reaching all the goals we might have. In this sense, video game can help us to fulfill our objectives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.