Education through games is real

Of course games can’t be the only tool of education, but it can be a great way to make the studying process more exciting. The old ways of studying and motivating students doesn’t work anymore, for instance when teacher tries to motivate students by reminding them about a test next week, or repeating that this information is crucial for final exams.

By introducing games to the education process, it is possible to make studying more competitive between students, between student and a teacher, which can become a great motivation. Another advantage of using games in education is that it makes students think outside the box, because it is not a traditional way of studying. Students need to get used to a new situation, which means reconstructing their way of thinking.

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Of course students need to be rewarded, if the studying process is through games, for every game we play we have some reward system, which can be translated into marks or extra points on tests in traditional education.

How is it that we still don’t use games in education as much as we could? It is because most of the teachers are used to a traditional educational system, which for them makes the teaching process a bit easier. If they choose to teach by playing games, it means that they first need to know how to play a game themselves.

At some point comes a moment when a game has been played so many times that each student knows it too well, then the teacher has to change the rules of a game in order to keep the students’ attention. It means that the teacher must be more creative when using games.

This is one of the main reasons why games, which had been tried in schools almost never, stay in educational system permanently.

Many of the games we use have a very long history. Games that have survived over the years tend to have characteristics that fit well with the needs and interests of children and adults. A long time before computers started to be used for playing, many games already had addictive like qualities for some game players.

The computer era added new dimension to games and provided more opportunities for a person to develop an addictive like dependency on games. But at the same time the computer era gives a possibility to create games that have considerable educational value.

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Attention grabbing and holding characteristics of many of the computer-based games are a challenge to a traditional, formal educational system. Such games provide an opportunity for changes that may improve the educational system.

A modern education prepares students to be productive and responsible adults in a world in which co-operation between the brain and a computer is a common approach to solving problems and accomplishing tasks.

Educational games are usually games designed with educational purposes or which have incidental or secondary educational value. All types of games can be used as educational games, as far as they are designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand concept, reinforce development, and understand an historical event or different culture.

The game “Intercultural house” was created as an educational game for schools in European and Arabic countries to teach through games to students about other cultures and create dialog between different cultures. In the game 17 different aspects of culture had been described.

The game was created with an idea to use it as a help tool for teachers in many subjects like history, languages, literature, art history, geography, sciences etc.

Teo Jameson

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