Games and Learning
  • What are videogames' worth in teaching players something? What do you get out of your games apart some hours worth of entertainment? Can videogames be used as a teaching medium? These questions have been answered in a very well made video by Daniel Floyd. I advice anyone who is interested in games to watch it:

    To be honest I do not believe that games have taught me much in the way of knowledge which can be used in everyday life. The idea of tangential learning is sound and I know that it did affect me in some ways. Looking up Norse mythology after playing Too Human for some time did provide me with much more insight in the subject than I originally had. But Daniel does nail it in the head that such information should be implemented seamlessly into the medium as much as possible. What do you think about all of this and what have games taught you?
  • First of all, I dont think computer games could ever replace normal studying. Whenever you have to go deep into a matter you simply need to sit down, concentrate, and read that goddamn book (sigh!). The entertainment aspect of a game would interfere with the learning process.
    Floyd mentioned tangential learning. As the name implies you wouldn't learn much just through that mechanic per se, unless you make an effort yourself. However, I think it is a good thing to spice up a game with some interesting stuff and perhaps get people interested in a topic.

    I can think of a number of examples where tangential learning has had an affect on me. My knowledge of Geography wouldn't be what it is without playing certain Global Strategy Games (Paradox Interactive!). I have found access to some areas of History through games, such as the Middle Ages (Medieval: Total War), or the 19th century (Victoria: An Empire under the Sun).
    Often enough a game has that 'aha, I didn't know that'-effect.
    However, like Floyd I think there is too little of that in games especially action games (learning would probably defeat the purpose of those, but hey).

    P.S. Very interesting topic, I think.
  • While I don't think that Math Blasters has helped me in my math skills very much...Video Games are not the best place to gather info from since most of it is fantasy or edited [like Dynasty Warriors. Read the book people the game makes alot of lies.]

    So...ya...if the game had a mini game that you needed to use Math to win [Mischief Makers Math Ball] its not gonna do much. Or even if its "Dr. Nefarious Haunted crip for 5th graders" I saw that the school didn't teach what was in this its eather gonna be advance or under par with the grade.

    Is it possable to make a fun learning game? Well...I liked them back maybe ya. But for hard core unless its a real army cutting wires, makeing the phone lines work, or punching in numbers to send a missle at the ememy base. Even thats a little bit weak.
  • I just remembered Americas Army. Did anyone of you guys do the Medic-school?
  • Games cant replace learning, i type this whilst at college! :D. Hangon *thinks to self* - " games cant replace learning" yet i type on a gaming forum whilst at college.

    However, i agree with planky that it can get you interested or give you the odd thing that you ddint know.
  • The argument here is not games replacing learning. The idea is to make slight modifications to games so that they can prove to be a catalyst to learning. By learning he does not mean school curriculum either. Learning is gaining knowledge on a variety of things. If you are playing Forza Motorsport 2 and learn a bit about how cars work by tuning your car in-game then that is learning. If the game allowed you to read real information about real stuff if you so desired than that would be even better.

    As is we seldom learn new things from games. This is just a nifty idea to change that to a degree.
  • The whole idea of tangential learning in games is something I've never thought of before but it actually makes alot of sense. I know there is a good chunk of my knowledge that I've gained from video game making small refrences. The best recent example I can think of is one night I was looking up stuff about persona 3 and ended up reading a little about Thanatos, Nyx and Orpheus. The actual classes in P3 gave me alot of useless info to.

    Now I don't think a game will ever make me intrested in math or anything I could use in my future career but I think it's great that games can help make people more aware of things like history, religion, and current events. But this is as close as they should get to "edutainment".
  • well i learned about vendervall in oblivion and morrowind by reading all the books after i beat the game if u reed them it makes the game allot more easy
    it took me for ever to read thos books i cant even remember any more but there were allot
    i think the only thing they don't have in the game is a book to teach us that weerd writing style they made i think its called the dadric alphabet. That confuses the hell out of me.
    heres a link to it
  • i dont think i would retain info that well if i was playing a videogame.

    its like yeah okay i have this sword that is historically important but i really dont care because i have to use this piece of metal to stab dozens of evil ninja pirates.

    however it couldnt hurt to have information and things implemented into our games. the loading screen idea was a good one. if you're playing a WW2 game it could have cool facts about the battle you're playing on the loading screen.

    one game that has definitely made me interested in something was when i played Age of Empires 2 as a kid. I was always the Celts and the Byzantines and i read all about them after i got to play as them in a virtual world.

    the concept is definitely plausible, but it would have to be done so subtly and with such care for a game to actually be fun and educational.

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