Who would have ever thought that video games – a form of entertainment – could improve the minds of those that play them! The truth is that amid all the cool graphics, the fantastic music, and the intriguing plots, educational opportunities are abound – and to find them, one only needs to look at them a little closer.
- Video games improve strategic thinking. Rare is the video
game that doesn’t require its 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 they start to apply it to actual world
- Video games improve problem solving. Although the same could
be said about any game, video games have proven in study after study to improve
problem-solving skills. This is because most (if not all) games are centered
around a problem and then challenge the player to solve it. In just one game, a
player may solve anywhere from three to a hundred or more different problems.
- Video games improve hand and eye coordination. If you find
this hard to believe, pick up a game controller and try to maneuver around the
game. Manipulating a game controller demands the same skills that it takes to
maneuver a mouse around a computer screen.
- Video games facilitate quick decision-making. One quality of
video games that lends to quick decision making is its impromptu situations.
The element of surprise is always around the corner and it’s what makes games
exciting to play. To win however, players must be able to make smart decisions
within a very short amount of time.
- Video games feed the imagination. We don’t really understand
the argument against things like television, videos, and gaming where people
use the lack of imagination to support their part of the debate. Some people
claim that video games take away from the imagination because games supply the
mind with things instead of encouraging the mind to come up with these things
on their own. Bear in mind that these are the same people who say a stack of
blocks is sufficient to grow a child’s imagination. Of course we couldn’t
disagree more. The imagery in video games only fuels the imagination and gives
it a spring board to form new possibilities that might not have occurred
- Video games encourage exploration. In role-playing games,
players must venture off the beaten path and explore the unknown. They have to
open doors without knowing what’s behind them. They have to enter areas of the
game without knowing the consequence. And they have to interact with characters
that they’ve never met before. Inside these particular kinds of games, the
opportunity to gather up the courage to explorer unknown territory isn’t just
available, it’s required.
- Video games enforce memorization. Another feature of video
games is its strong influence on memorization. The terrain portrayed inside
some of these games is huge, yet accessing the maps can be cumbersome and
disruptive to the game. To compensate, gamers will not only memorize a large
portion of the terrain, they’ll remember the tasks required to get to specific
- Video games teach consequence. All computer and video games
operate off of an “action – reaction” principle. Do something, and the game
will react. This is a great opportunity to learn about consequence – whether
this opportunity is experienced from a gamer’s point of view or a programmer’s
point of view.
- Video games teach patience, dedication, and endurance. No great game can be conquered in a day. In fact, some of the best and most popular games take weeks or months to finish.
These are just some of the educational opportunities hidden inside video and computer games. After closer investigation, we’re sure you can find more in addition to hours of fun and amazement.