Friday, July 28, 2017

Education Through Computer Games

March 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Parents always want their children to get the best grades in exams and they want their child to study all the time. Recently my neighbor bought the Panasonic TC-P50GT25 3D TV, but he won’t let his boy to play video game on this TV. There is a common perception amongst many parents that video games are purely for entertainment. That they are brainless and often violent and that there is no real merit or value to them. A range of special computer games released in recent years has aimed to change that impression, and bring education to computer games.

When video games were first released they really were just for entertainment. There were sports and racing games, shooting games and a number of others. Choices were limited, even in arcades, and even more limited for use at home.

In time video games became increasingly realistic and this too was a worry because it meant that violent games became more graphic. This made them unsuitable for younger children, and a worry to parents. Thankfully, a handful of companies saw the potential for educational video games, and started making and targeting these at young children.

There are a range of hand held gaming systems, and those that plug into a TV that are aimed at young children. Instead of being just entertainment they incorporate a range of educational activities, and may or may not go to great lengths to explain how the activities should be completed.

Several different tools exist to encourage children to perform educational tasks. Games that encourage reading skills may ask a child to spell out a word in order to overcome a particular obstacle, where as maths games may have a child doing simple math. Others use a stylus to have the child write or draw on the screen of the device, and points are awarded when the child successful completes the letter or shape.

There is often racing or other typical gaming elements included in between the tasks that the children are asked to do. The idea is to both make learning or practising essential skills fun, but also to bring education to the gaming world, which children will be attracted to anyway.

Not all of the games explain the things that the children need to do in a sufficient way. It may require the parent to first teach the child how to perform the task, before they then use the repetition in the game in order to both complete the game and cement the things that they have been taught by you, or in school.

It is important to remember that these games do not replace education, or interaction with the child’s parents or other people. They are not sufficient on their own to cement these vital skills, and too much time spent playing them is likely to be bad for the child’s social development.

However, the majority of children will end up playing video games at some point anyway, and it seems that this is getting earlier and earlier in their life. So, if they are going to be gaming anyway, a sensible approach would be to give them games and games machines that have a little more value to them than simply teaching them how to shoot the bad guys.

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