The theme of computer games in education for quite a long time causes a lot of disputes for two main reasons: harm to vision and a lot of cruelty and violence in the stories of games. Having studied many monographs and reports of modern scientists, we will allocate the main topics of discussion among teachers concerning games and educational process.
Types of educational games
Computer games are not clearly divided into genres. For example, researcher Nicola Whitton, based on the motive with which they were developed, divides the games into 4 types:
- Entertaining, modified for training;
- Special educational games, from major developers;
Games that are created by teachers and students themselves
The budgets of educational games, compared to commercial ones, are simply paltry. And it affects their appearance quite a lot. Entertainment games compete for gamer's attention, which in many ways stimulates the development of the industry, but educational games are most often distributed exclusively and purposefully to schools. Questions about the aesthetics of educational games, even studied in a separate monograph dedicated exclusively to this topic.
Commercial games, as a rule, are quite complex and unforeseen. As for educational games, on the contrary, they should be predictable and simple, so that their external form, plot, additional information does not distract from the educational material.
How to choose the right educational game?
According to experts, almost ideal are those games that students create on their own. The fact is that in order to come up with something similar, you need to study the topic in detail. In this case, the teacher directs students to the sources of necessary information and prevents errors. But the very idea and the whole process of the game is a completely childish creation. The material being studied, thus, will be remembered much better than when a child just reads or hears it.
What game genres are the most suitable for pedagogical purposes? John Kollick gives examples: high school students will be best suited for strategic games in real time. As an example of a successful educational game he cites the strategy of Europa Universalis as a successful platform for learning history and geography.
Another interesting option for older students is an educational game in which you need to allocate limited resources. Here is an example, a simulator of a spaceship "FTL: Faster Than Light". And, of course, do not detract from the popularity of various MMORPGs, which perform tasks of socialization.
Computer games and emotional intelligence
The unique property to distinguish and understand a lot of emotions and feelings, using this information for your own purposes, is called "emotional intelligence".
A person's emotional state has a great influence on the actions he performs. In games, however, different variations are worked out for cases where the player may experience complex emotions. Some researchers in this context highlight such a key component as "crucible emotions". These are various stressful situations that a person grows up personally. Thanks to the games, you can experience important moments and unpleasant circumstances.
There are other options when they become a perfect illustration of moral dilemmas that exist in the real world. We are mainly talking about such situations when there is a choice between what a person must do and to break the rules for the good. A classic game based on dilemmas and choices can be called "Dragon Age: Origins".
Computer games and theory of pedagogy
Of course, computer games cannot be called real pedagogy. But even in the most popular commercial games in the world you can find something in common with theories of learning. This topic was studied by the corporation Schoolnet, promoting the development of modern developments for education. Representatives of this organization compare computer games with the training cycle of the Bulb. When a player can not pass one or another test, he thinks about the reason for the failure, then plans a sequence of actions to be taken to win. As a result, the gamer self-evaluates the correctness of his choices or false assumptions.
Something similar is observed when dividing the game into complex and simple levels. At first, the game involves the simplest tasks with additional information. After, when the person is already completely familiar with its rules, it is offered to become more independent and smart for successful passage of levels more difficult. Thus, computer games motivate a person to take responsibility for self-learning.
The game of learning
In order to invest the maximum of knowledge and skills required in the XXI century, general education resources should be spent not only on training students in traditional subjects, but also on developing their competencies and personal qualities, says the report New Vision for Education, prepared jointly by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the World Economic Forum. Here we need computer games and simulations that allow simultaneously with learning the main material to develop such useful qualities as creativity, curiosity and perseverance in achieving their goals, the authors of the report list. And further, the study of the U.S. education market indicates that the market for children's educational games in the U.S. in 2013 was $300 million, and its largest segment - games for mobile devices (tablets, phones, etc.) - grew by almost 13% over the year, showing the best dynamics of all segments.
The game is one of the most effective methods of teaching people of any age, and not only people: highly organized machines with artificial intelligence are also the most effective in learning by participating in the game or watching it.
Act as an adult
IT technologies make games simpler and more diverse. That's why now computer games are a fashionable topic at the events dedicated to teambuilding, says the general director of Communicator Creative Events agency "Jumping in bags from wall to wall is boring for everyone. Now customers are asking to make for them integrated stories that involve both body and intellect".
In solving such problems, digital technology is indispensable. For example, when one reputable bank held a housewarming party in a large office complex and wanted to introduce the employees to the new workplace, Communicator Events invented a business game. At the entrance to the building, everyone was given a tablet with a quest downloaded onto it. The game space was combined with the real one: using the map on the tablet, you had to search for artifacts and perform tasks indoors throughout the building.