One of the most common problem parents encounter when it comes to dealing with teenagers is handling their video game addiction. With computers and gaming consoles evolving so quickly, more and more teenagers develop serious addictions to video games, spending countless hours in front of the TV or computer, which is not only bad for their health but for their productivity as well. Given these circumstances, the fact that some teachers want to use video games as learning tools may seem downright crazy, but is it really? Are video games complete time wasters, or are there useful things a teenager can learn from them?
Boost Creativity & Enhance Perception of Realism
One of the most important aspects of video games is that they provide a complete scenario which may be based on real elements or on fantasy elements. However, by creating an entire world and placing the player inside it, video games automatically trigger the player’s imagination, which is especially useful in art-related classes. Also, games that are based on reality allow teenagers to get a better grip of reality by providing them with a visual representation of the world they live in, at a larger scale, which is something that would be significantly harder to achieve without some visual stimulants.
A good example is the popular game Angry Birds; although at a first glance the game can seem to be just entertaining, it is in fact a game that someone can really learn a lot from. The game comes with a very sophisticated physics engine, which will allow students to understand how concepts like gravity and kinetic energy work, while also developing their problem-solving skills.
When playing video games, one of the things you need to get accommodated to is losing. While this may not seem as an important quality to master, it is in fact very important to learn how to lose.
Angry Birds is again the perfect example in this matter, as the game is fairly simple, and when you lose you can easily start the level again. This will teach students to remain confident when facing a problem or when things don’t go according to their expectations, and be aware that whatever mishap occurs, it can simply be corrected, just as a level can be restarted.
However, teachers need to delimit the fine balance between students learning to remain self-confident and them starting to be neglect things just because they know they can fix them later.
Learn Team Work
Some video games, such as RPGs or strategy games, require the player to cooperate with other players in order to achieve victory, which is another useful skill to master. Teachers usually seek popular games of the genres, such as Guild Wars or DotA, to teach students the importance of team work. The players will learn how to stop being in a constant competition, and work together to achieve the final goal.
Develop an Efficient Thinking Process
One thing all games have in common, when used in a classroom, is that they will eventually make the student ask himself two fundamental questions: “why?” and “how?”. These two questions will eventually lead to the development of a healthy thinking process. Once the students will understand the aim of the game and play the game until they reach it, they will eventually start to wonder how the game was created, thus sliding into the programming section, which relies heavily on analytic thinking – a very useful skill to master, especially if the student in cause plans to work in the field of programming in the future.
As you can see, video games can be effectively used in classrooms, as there are plenty of things students can learn from them. However, it is the teacher’s duty to point the students into the correct direction and clearly highlight the fact that there is a well-set barrier between entertainment and education, even when it comes to video games.
Author Bio: Christopher Austin has written several high quality articles on latest tech and gaming. He is also running a number of online gaming sites including Truck Games 365. Apart he loves to play with his kids at his free time.