In today’s modern age society, almost everyone has either seen someone play a video game, heard a video game, or owns a video game system or two. Video games have evolved and now come in all different formats whether it’s Madden, Call of Duty, or even Just Dance. With these video games comes a lot of hand-eye coordination, thinking skills, and even what-if scenarios that require an answer off the top of the head without much thought going into it. Because of these reasons, studies have been done to see if there is a way that video games can be tied into teaching and learning in schools. Lots of students spend their afterschool time either participating in afterschool extracurricular activities or at home, playing video games. Integrating video games with education inside of the classroom could be beneficial to students, parents, and also teachers if done correctly. The effects could even prove to show higher concentration and higher test scores with a higher interest in education from students that don’t really care about school.
It is said that video games can play a significant role in the learning classroom process. (Mifsud & Vella, 2013) Through previous studies, there is evidence that can show the positive effects of video games in learning. One of the positive effects of using video games in learning is that students can do things that they can’t do by reading from a book such as actually putting themselves in certain situations. For example, in history we learned that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492. That can be read in any book but if a student actually played a video game where they got to sail around the world as Columbus in 1492 the information could be easily kept in their minds because they’re learning while enjoying the game. It’s easier on the brain than to stress about trying to remember when he sailed the ocean blue.
Students that use video games at home are more likely to prefer to use video games in school because that’s something that they’re used to. Some parents agree that video games can be used as tools for learning in specific subjects and skills like decision-making, design, strategy, and cooperation. (Mifsud & Vella, 2013) Being a parent of a student that uses video games outside of school is different from one that doesn’t have children that play video games. While some parents are strict and don’t allow their kids to play video games, the parents that do can see how it affects their child.
When playing video games, there is more focus and concentration in trying to win the game or complete a challenge that the game holds. At the end, when the game is over there is a sense of accomplishment from the child and helps to boost their pride. This can be applied to video gaming in classrooms. Instead of just having students take a written test and receive a good grade they can take the same test on a video game, win or pass, and see a huge graphic come across the screen that says “Good Job!” which is an accomplishment to some. The satisfaction of passing a test isn’t as good of a satisfaction as completing a game that someone works really hard on, at least to some people.
Video games as instructional tools allow for greater interactivity, multi-sensory stimulation, and accurate feedback. (Brusso, Orvis, Bauer, & Tekleab, 2012) Certain multiplayer games such as Battlefield or Call of Duty allow for players to communicate with other players from all over the world that are playing the same game at the same time as them. This can help students that have self esteem issues or even issues with speaking in public or to other people. By having students play video games in the classroom it can get rid of the shyness that they feel inside. By having students communicate through a video game it opens up the abilities for them to be able to communicate in person. This can lead to higher concentration in class because they don’t have to worry about how others look at them or what they think of them because, through the video game, their interaction increases which has the potential to increase their in class interaction as well.
Having access to video games in the classroom has many different positive effects, such as the ones previously stated. Studies have shown that students that can master these video games in and out of the classroom have higher levels of intelligence in certain areas. This doesn’t mean that students that play video games have a higher overall intelligence than those that don’t but it does state that students can perform better if they have this opportunity and access. Parents, teachers, and students all can benefit from including video games in the classroom, which could potentially lead to a new and improved method of teaching overall. The overall effects have been proven to be beneficial to everyone included.
- Brusso, R. C., Orvis, K. A., Bauer, K. N., & Tekleab, A. G. (2012). Interaction Among Self-Efficacy, Goal Orientation, and Unrealistic Goal-Setting on Videogame-Based Training Performance. Military Psychology (Taylor & Francis Ltd), 24(1), 1-18.
- Mifsud, C. L., Vella, R., & Camilleri, L. (2013). Attitudes towards and effects of the use of video games in classroom learning with specific reference to literacy attainment. Research In Education, (90), 32-52.