Video Games – The Future of Learning

The ongoing debate of how video games are harming society sicken me. “Oh, but they endorse violence upon the youth and create monsters.” Yeah, alright. Can we please stop bickering about the negatives and take a look at all the positives video games bring to the table for once?

English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PA...

English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PAL Controller with VMU. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I myself am not an avid gamer, putting aside my Halo days, I know what it takes to be good at one; precision. In an online gaming world where speed is the factor separating the legend from the common “n00b”, one cannot simply pick up a controller and be blessed with the skills to dominate. It takes hours of, dare I say, learning, yes, learning, a game to achieve success. But hand-eye coordination and reaction time are not the only attributes video games can bring forth upon society.

In an article we read in Dr. Tweedie’s module, though I do not recall which one it was exactly, it spoke of how complicated programs such as CADD (Computer-aided design) were actually TAUGHT using a video game. The programs used in classrooms were becoming way too complex and difficult for students to pick up and use while it took months or longer to master. To make the program make more sense, the professors devised a genius plan to make it more enjoyable for the students: make it into a video game. The game brought the CADD peers on a journey where they started with using simple tools in the program to defeat enemies and solve problems and by the end of the game had mastered the program.

This should be a new standard of teaching. Video games are fast-paced enough where it is hard to lose attention instead of sitting in a classroom for an hour listening to a lecture. Why do you think it is a growing philosophy to start children out on such as the Jumpstart franchise? The attention span of today’s society needs more action to stay satisfied, so why not teach the language of spanish through an xbox game where you are in the middle of a zombie invasion and the only way to not get eaten is to conjugate the right form of “bailar” with “nosotros” (we dance)? Now that’s learning.