- Despite long being viewed as a distraction from learning, video games are gaining recognition for a variety of cognitive benefits and gaining acceptance as a learning tool, EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports.
- Getting students onboard with using video games for learning is easy enough due to the medium being seen as a fun activity, and their direct play isn't necessarily required to reap the benefits. One example cited involved having students write papers on topics as far-reaching as comparisons of mythological heroes to those in games.
- Additionally, games can help students develop social-emotional skills like teamwork or critical thinking, which may help them in college. And some colleges are offering video game scholarships, thanks to the rise of esports.
Video games can be valuable learning tools, even if they're serving as examples and not directly being played. Sometimes it can be as simple as drawing connections for students in what skills they're using or developing in certain games — like critical thinking or reading comprehension in "The Legend of Zelda" or teamwork and strategizing in a massive online game.
Their use also presents another avenue for educators to teach students about time management and other skills alongside the use of school-issued devices, as harnessing tech's full potential, educational or otherwise, requires responsible use.
Of course, there's more than just fun afoot in game-based learning, too. Serious gaming has gained prominence in recent years to train learners in a variety of skills in a lower-stakes environment, with applications including simulations of defusing a bomb, surgery and negotiation and conflict resolution.