Video games have become the “in thing” with kids and teenagers all over the world. In the United States alone, 46% of children between the ages of 13 and 18 play video games on their mobile phones.
Statista records that 27% have a gaming console at home while 17% use laptops. PEW Research indicates that 95% of teens have smartphones, making it impossible to find one that does not engage in video games. Teens are now logging into gaming sites to play games or get some TrueBlue casino no deposit bonus codes in online e-gaming competitions.
Research indicated that gaming could have educational benefits. The key to maintaining a balance is ensuring access to quality gaming content and applying reasonable gaming limits to kids and teens.
Pros and Cons of Gaming in Education
|Better problem-solving skills||Distractive|
|Better socialization and teamwork skills||Social Replacement|
Gaming in education aids students in developing brain functionality. Students can create reason and solve problems depending on the challenge at hand. For instance, Minecraft and Sandbox provide a child with the chance to build, shape and develop one’s world enhancing creativity. The endless forms that one can develop provide a limitless source of creative items for the students.
Games can hold a student’s attention and focus for a longer period. A study at Deakin University discovered that students who engaged in gaming had better motor skills, especially hand and eye coordination. The student’s attention span in a single minute was wider.
These students could take in an environment, interpret it and respond to it in the shortest time possible (seconds). The University of California found that gaming stimulates a student’s imagination, concentration and memory retention capabilities.
Memory enhancement is an obvious benefit when it comes to gaming. Students must remember all gaming controls at a go, remember their skills, provide strategic moves in line with game objectives, and still adhere to the game plot.
All these and more keep the brain functioning at an advanced rate, which sharpens your reasoning capability and enhances your memory.
Better Problem-Solving Skills
Games have a rich collection of daily challenges with each level a student unlocks. There are rules, rewards and limitations under which one can use a rule or a reward. Students have to meet every challenge, unlock every mystery and work through the puzzles to reach a destination or meet a target.
There are many games where a student has to work through a maze, arranged like items or work through the powers of varying knights, gods or fantasy-based characters. Students have to solve every problem and immerse themselves in the gaming world.
In most instances, students have no idea of how gaming develops their problem-solving skills. In one of their research, the Monterrey Institute of Technology highlighted that games have an underlying social, ethical and philosophical basis.
It also indicates that these games help players reason and critically evaluate a situation or environment before making a decision.
Better Socialization and Teamwork Skills
Students’ level of engagement when playing video games is higher. Teachers and other responsible guardians can track their performance using gaming software. However, students often become masters in the games provided in a learning environment.
The Pittsburg University highlights that their socialization skills improve greatly when students are leading or put in command. Also, the students can mediate and resolve disputes and make fast decisions.
Multiplayer games provide multiple concerns at a go. The leader has to delegate work according to individual skills and strategically position players. Each player has to understand the limits of playing a specific character, time limits, tasks at hand, game stage or level and any threats the characters might face.
Each character or person has to work with another and all as a team to win. As a result, students have to learn to work as a team, engage in regular friendly gaming competitions, and develop a bond over the gaming experiences while at school.
Studies highlight the fast-moving and instant responses that games provide can be distractive for students. The performance and cognitive abilities may improve in fast-paced environments. These are not regular classes, and teachers may need to revert to traditional teachings in some subjects. However, students may find it hard to retain their attention or concentration in such a slow-paced learning environment.
Students tend to invest more time and space in gaming, forgetting to participate in sports or other learning activities. Studies show that students will always choose the latter if given a choice between studying for regular examinations or participating in a sport and engaging in gaming activities.
Also, the time spent on these activities can span hours a day, resulting in weight gain, muscle aches, and backaches.
The world health organization recently classified addiction to playing video games as a “Gaming Disorder” in the International Classification of Disease. The reason behind it is that playing games result in the release of dopamine into the body.
Healthline, an independent health-based website, describes dopamine as the “Fell Good Neurotransmitter.” The website indicates that the hormone has major relations to pleasure and rewards. It can impact your mood, mobility, or motor function and heavily impact your decision-making capabilities.
Therefore, when students stop gaming and study, the hormone increases the need to continue playing and feel the pleasure of winning or getting to the next level. In other words, dopamine fuels gaming addiction.
A game researcher at Microsoft Game studios says that “video games are addictive and designed to be so. Game designers aim to control individual behaviour through stimuli and gifts/rewards at specific and strategic positions or times when playing.
Research shows that students today interact online, i.e. on virtual platforms that meeting friends face-to-face. Gaming, whether in school or at home, should not replace meeting with other people and socializing. Hanging out with friends without leaving your home is a positive factor, especially with the Covid-19 restrictions.
However, it is not a solution to making friends or having a fellow student over for homework or tutoring. Encouraging gaming in school as a learning tool has led to social replacement.
Gaming in education has many positive impacts, including better cognitive development, memory retention, and better concentration on details. Students also improve their problem-solving skills; develop better decision-making techniques, a competitive and knowledgeable platform on evolving gaming technologies and many more.
Gaming can also lead to students replacing their social lives with a virtual one, appear distracted when not playing an educational game or become addicted to gaming. However, the positives override the negatives making gaming in education a positive technological advancement.