Video games have been perceived as a distraction from school and a disruption of attention and focus to studies. However, this has never been more wrong. It is true that excessive playing can interfere with other responsibilities, but playing video games can also be highly beneficial. It can help to acquire essential life skills and support online learning effectively.
Given the current situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, online learning has become the primary teaching method. While some students were able to adapt better to this, some are still struggling to perform well. Chances are, in some cases, and certain institutions will continue using this method, so it is essential to get acquainted with it. And video games are a fun way of doing this.
But you might still ask yourself how exactly can video games support online learning and what it is the connection between the two. We’ve got you covered!
Video games stimulate further learning
Nowadays, many video games are based on actual, historical events or work as a simulation that can be useful for medicine-related subjects or engineering, so it isn’t difficult to learn as you play – and enjoy it. What’s more, they are so accurately created to the most minor details that they resemble real life very well. Therefore, as video games can be quite complex, playing them requires a great deal of attention and memory to be able to retain information.
Their complexity in terms of design and information-rich character stimulates players to learn while playing as well as seek additional information or become seriously passionate about a subject. For instance, for simulation-based video games that require scientific knowledge, you can discover your inclination towards topics such as chemistry. In this case, you might realize you want to learn more and sign up for an online chemistry course for beginners. If you have been playing video games, you will be better equipped to follow an online class, as you have acquired skills needed, like visual memory and improved attention span. Not to mention, you might have already acquired some knowledge related to the subject, thanks to the game.
Computer literacy and engagement
For people who play video games on a regular basis, using any digital tools doesn’t represent too much of a challenge. And, if it does, their tech-savviness helps them navigate the digital environment with more easiness than someone who isn’t as used to using technology. When it comes to online learning and using digital tools for communication such as video conference apps or file-sharing tools, video gamers will be more inclined to use them. What’s more, they might prefer this way of learning or, when it comes to working remotely, they will be able to adapt faster. This gives them the opportunity to choose freelancing jobs.
Besides computer literacy, video games can support engagement and motivation. This works thanks to the fact that many video games are created to fulfill psychological needs. You are in constant competition – whether it is with yourself or with others – as you need to reach specific goals and overcome certain obstacles. This keeps you engaged with the game to discover valuable information and motivated to keep going. Besides, the autonomy needed to make your own strategic decisions is vital for advancement. Moreover, video games offer real-time feedback, as you can earn points and rewards along the way, which motivates you further.
All these apply to online learning. If the environment is built to challenge you and integrates relevant, practical, and interactive activities, the student will be more engaged, and they won’t lose concentration that easily. So, if an online course follows the design and strategy of video games, even students who aren’t regular video gamers will interact more.
Video games foster cognitive skills
When you are engaged in a complex video game where you need to pay attention to many aspects to advance, it is highly necessary you develop cognitive skills. To be able to overcome certain obstacles within the game or be prepared for any challenges, any gamer needs to have strategic and critical-thinking skills as well as the ability to solve problems in a timely manner. More often than not, strategic or action-adventure games require you to move fast but efficiently, so it is crucial you develop attention skills to capture information and act accordingly.
For this reason, game-based learning can be highly efficient. Research revealed that students could improve skills such as critical thinking or increase their attention span through game-based education, as 71% of teachers stated. Online learning offers the appropriate environment to integrate digital games to foster motivation and productivity. And, even if an online course doesn’t follow this strategy, students who play video games regularly are more prone to successfully follow the course online, as they have already acquired these necessary skills through game playing.
Video games foster soft skills
Apart from cognitive skills, playing video games can enhance your social skills, given that you need to interact with other players. These are incredibly useful when you are completing your studies or attending any type of online course. Being able to communicate efficiently and interacting with your course mates are vital aspects that help you foster strong relationships. Besides, if you get along with your colleagues will help you remain motivated academically. Not to mention, as a gamer, you will be more prepared to do this in a virtual environment where communication is more challenging, and online learning will seem less intimidating.
In multiplayer video games, where you need to either work together with other players or compete against them, you will need to develop people skills. What this means is that emotional intelligence plays a significant role in teamwork. So, to overcome any obstacles and advance in a game where you need to work collaboratively with someone else, you must communicate with each other efficiently. This way, you recognize both your strengths and your team member’s and utilize them to reach your common goal. The same goes for online learning, as you will need to be able to work well in a team.