Have Computer Video Games Any Educational Properties?

By: Bryan Pilkington

If we look at the video games with a view to find out if any of the games have any educational benefits, we find that amidst all the fancy graphics, the loud music and the outrageous plots are some interesting educational opportunities.

Due to the fact that some video games take a long time to complete, the endurance of the game players mental ability is tested. Patience, resilience and dedication are attributes needed in great amounts, especially to play the large role playing games. A programmers job is to devise a video game where whenever there is an action there is also a corresponding reaction. This activity in a game learns the player about the consequences of an action.

The gameplay terrain can be very large in size and although maps are sometimes provided the game player ideally must memorize a large part of the map in order to navigate around the game quickly. This activity is a great memory exercise. The player must also memorize certain tasks to help in accessing certain areas of the game.

Many video games encourage the player to explore new and unknown lands, some of which may seem quite scary and therefore a level of confidence and courage is needed to proceed. Also the players character usually has to interact with the other virtual or real life characters to find out critical game information. Sometimes the player needs to find another player online to complete a certain mission. This interaction teaches social and co-operational skills.

Strategic decisions constantly have to be made during gameplay, with the player always looking ahead to see what consequences the decisions will make. Strategic thinking in gameplay can be directly applied to real world situations. Along with decision making, and the ability to make smart and quick decisions, the gamer may also have to solve a variety of maths and English problems. Games can be purchased with an emphasis on problem solving tasks.

In todays modern games the amount of controls that need to be known in order to play the games is staggering. Sometimes many buttons of the controller may have to be pressed in an exact order to facilitate an action. This can greatly increase the players memory and hand eye coordination.

For younger children there are lots of video games that focus on these educational attributes of the games, with a selection of games designed to enhance schoolwork and support the curriculum.

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