2 thoughts on “Video Games and Learning”

  1. I honestly do believe that video games are changing education. I have witnessed a variety of great games that can be used in an educational sense and have taken a course on the topic, as well. We played World of Warcraft, Runescape, Quest Atlantis, and Spore as part of the requirements for the course. While that may not seem educational, I can easily explain the skills I received as a result of my gaming experience. World of Warcraft taught me how to work in a collaborative environment over the Internet. Our world is quickly progressing to the point where our children will soon be mostly working with people over the Internet in their jobs. This game helped me learn how to create a team using assets needed to complete the quest (i.e. a Rouge to pick locks, a warrior to take the damage, a priest to heal, a warlock for their pet, etc.). I learned problem solving skills and negotiation, constantly had to use judgement analysis and strategic thinking skills, and, of course, had to communicate and network in order to play the game. Spore helped me think non-linearly, which is always a challenge for me. You have to raise a little creature from a baby and start taking over the island. However, you have to use the assets of your creature in order to do so. It really challenged my thinking because I was always thinking outside of the box – and I had to do a bit of research on the Internet about how environments influence your evolution! I learned a lot about evolution from this game.

    I would also like to bring up another game that has recently been something that has helped me. Again, my non-linear thinking skills need to always be challenged because I need to improve my critical thinking skills. My students recommended to me Portal because they said it really makes you think “outside of the box.” I spent the first half hour of the game going through the same “portal” because I was “chasing” a woman that looked a bit odd. It turned out to be me… creating a portal in the wall and then seeing myself from the other side. My students thought it was hilarious, but then I started understanding the game. You have to create portals in a variety of places to reach certain areas. The goal is more or less to find yourself through a maze that seems impossible, but, with some creative and critical thought, it is definitely possible. Portal makes you really understand physics because you have to understand how matter travels in order to beat the game. … I’m still on level 10.

    All in all, the games that are posted on the image are some that I have played growing up, as well (i.e. Oregon Trail, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?), and I can attest that they have helped me at one point or another become a better learner. Educational gaming is a wave that we need to jump on and not suppress.

  2. I am very amused by your blog. The diagram of how video games are changing education makes you think about how the brain processes information. When students are in class learning different skills, but are not using technology or devices, are they able to be attentive to learning? Or will allowing students to use technology to play fun and educational games that include problem solving, or other strategical skills help prepare them more in class? I’m pretty sure what your answer maybe, but just because a student is play a game and having fun doing it, do you think that student is receiving “active information” (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 54) ? Or how could you describe a student’s attention?


    Ormrod, J.E., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories & Instruction. (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.

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