Are Online Games Really Educational?

When video game consoles like Nintendo and Sega first came out, advocates of gaming claimed that these games were good for kids because it helped them develop hand-eye coordination. Regardless of what you think about this claim, it is undeniable that the video games of today have come leaps and bounds from those original games. Today’s games offer multi-sensory experiences which allow for interactive learning.Here are the best online clicker games collection

Best Games of Educational

Alan Gershenfeld, the founder and president of the digital game publishing group E-Line Media, makes interesting points about the educational aspects of video games. At the event Game On! Texas, Gershenfeld said that video games enable players to step into another person’s shoes, make choices, and explore consequences, all of which are skills needed for life in the 21st century.

What is interesting is that Gershenfeld wasn’t just talking about the games which are promoted as educational – such as those math or vocab games for kids. For example, he spoke of about the failure aspect of games. Nearly all video games online and on consoles involve a lot of failure. The player must spend a lot of time figuring out how to solve a problem, failing at that problem, and then reassessing approach until success is achieved. Today’s video games are often very complex and it is no small mental feat to figure out ways to overcome the problems of failure. This experience of try-fail-try again can be applied to daily life. Gershenfeld compared this to the scientific method.

Gershenfeld is right when saying that anything can be taught through video games and online games. One example he gives is statistics, such as when kids must figure out how many people playing a game got to each level and where most of the players died. Even if the kids aren’t aware of it, they are getting this knowledge. He is working with a program called Institute of Play in which kids design their own games. To make a video game, you have to know even more than to play it. Kids have to master concepts such as gravity, math analysis, and engineering.

Despite Gershenfeld’s advocacy of games, the general consensus is still that most games are bad for children. Many experts claim that online games and video games keep children from having real experiences and developing social skills. Because of these claims, a lot of educators are reluctant to use online games in their classrooms. Gershenfeld also addresses this view of gaming. He realistically says that the problem with games is that they can become addictive.

Parents need to set limits to game playing – but not let those limits interfere with the educational aspects of a game. Since online games are a learning, interactive experience, it doesn’t make sense to set exact time limits on game playing daily. It would be counterproductive to jump in right as a child is making a critical decision in the game. Gershenfeld doesn’t give an answer to how parents should deal with the balance between game addictiveness and education – it is something that each parent will have to figure out on an individual level.