This Wired article brings up some very good points on how video games are teaching students today. Not how to carjack and shoot people, but how to manage a group of beings to solve problems (Pikmin), carry out intricate missions (Metal Gear Solid 2), and micromanage resources (Warcraft III).

How did videogames become such successful models of effective learning? Game coders aren’t trained as cognitive scientists. It’s a simple case of free-market economics: If a title doesn’t teach players how to play it well, it won’t sell well. Game companies don’t rake in $6.9 billion a year by dumbing down the material – aficionados condemn short and easy games like Half Life: Blue Shift and Devil May Cry 2.

The games teach the players how to play the game. The players are rewarded by applying what the game has taught them. There is also anecdotal evidence that playing some of these games are helping youngsters as young as 4 to read.

Are videogames a replacement for teachers? NO! We overlook that things should be done in moderation. A class that only plays Pikmin might learn how to manage an army of alien beings, but will it help them in History?

1 thought on “Videogames are better teachers?

  1. Interesting question. I guess you could look at it from different perspectives. I do agree that it can’t replace a teacher. Students need that one to one, personal interaction. I think there could be a case for eye/hand coordination and problem solving. Something to think about.

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