No one who picked up a joystick for the first time could ever have imagined video games someday transcending their role as a hobby. However, this is exactly what happened due to the effects of the global pandemic which prompted many educational institutions to shift to online learning. Given that most of 2019-2021 schooling happened online, teachers and academic faculties have started to embrace gaming as a potential educational medium.
According to Statista, 87% of people stated that they felt as if they belonged to a community thanks to gaming in 2021. 83% have stated that they learned more about themselves while playing video games, with 64% even finding partners through gaming. Video games are undoubtedly the future of online learning and education as a whole. Let’s discuss how video games can benefit today’s students.
1. Mental Health Benefits
Being a student is hard, no matter if you’re going to high school or a university. It can be stressful to work on essays, assignments, and projects daily without a vent to help you cope with the workload. Gaming can be one such vent, a way for students to reduce their anxiety and refocus their mental energy.
Through gaming, young students can forget about their exams, presentations, and research papers at least for an hour or two. This can help them become more positive about their academic prospects and gain a new perspective on the projects they’re working on. Relaxing, inspiring, and otherwise positive games like Journey, Stardew Valley, and Undertale that you can download online are amazing as mental health stimulants and should be played by students worldwide.
2. Improved Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive abilities are an absolute must for all students, especially at an academic level. Learning and working on comprehensive projects as a university student can be extremely taxing. However, gaming can help stimulate your brain and help you not only cope but overcome your student challenges with ease. Concepts like attention, long-term memorization, pattern recognition, and speed of processing information are at the core of many video games.
Puzzle and adventure games are especially helpful as cognitive stimulants, so picking up classics like Myst or The Stanley Parable can be very helpful. These games are designed to help gamers not only solve puzzles and feel accomplished by doing so, but also to imprint certain feelings, messages, and thoughts into them. By overcoming the challenges within these types of games, you’ll feel better prepared for student projects and assignments than ever before.
3. Web-Based Resource Utilization
Many popular games rely on online research and resources to help players succeed at them. Most notably, online gaming in MMOs and rogue-like games almost require the use of dedicated Wiki and other pages for players to progress. This can help students learn how to use online resources to their benefit in academia.
By playing video games, students will inherently learn how to do online research, which sources to trust, and how to use them in their assignments. Students can also use Trusted Essay Writers to work with professional writers on their essays and papers to help them pass subjects more easily. The web is an extensive resource that students can refer to on a daily, both in school and out. Introducing gaming into education can bring them a step closer to that status quo.
4. Language Learning
Not everyone knows how to use English properly, and that’s okay! We are all different and live in different parts of the world – however, video games are something we all have in common. Most of today’s video games are published in English but do offer plenty of other localization options. Spanish, German, and French are almost industry-standard at this point as additional language options in many popular video games. Students who want to learn new languages should consider playing video games.
Teachers who want to teach students about languages can use games like The Sims, the Monkey Island series, and even Animal Crossing to help them. These games are fun and suitable for all ages so there shouldn’t be any issues with how suitable any one game is for younger or older students. Learning new languages is also possible through MMOs and interaction with people from abroad. However, teachers may have a more difficult time controlling the narrative in that case.
Embracing Gaming in Education
As generations change, education is bound to transform and change into more modern forms. Millennials who were students themselves until yesterday are now slowly becoming teachers, mentors, and coaches for new generations. They are the best path toward introducing gaming into education, both formal and informal, in elementary and college institutions alike.
Only time will tell how traditional education will treat gaming moving forward, but one thing is for sure. Today’s students are fully ready and able to treat gaming as a serious, valuable addition to everyday learning, not just as a hobby or a fun pastime. Once lawmakers and educational decision-makers recognize this, the only way for gaming in education will be the path forward.
Author Bio: Jessica Fender is a professional marketer, copywriter, and gaming aficionado. She loves working on digital projects for various online publications, involving blog posts, case studies, and research papers. Jessica spends her free time in MMOs and likes to meet people from around the globe online.