Lenguas Extranjeras 4to año- I.I.N.N- ANEP- C.F.E. reading 6
Mtra.Prof. Graciela Bilat
Are video games educational?
By Jayel Gibson
Updated on Feb 28, 2008
With increased requirements in schools placing unprecedented demands on children and parents,
it may be time to start thinking about video games as teaching tools. The learning component of
gaming can be optimized with parent and teacher involvement. That means understanding what
makes a game both fun and educational.
Challenge and strategy – this is the core of the game. It includes the objective, the play
and the scoring. The game should provide a challenge for its players and allow them to use
different strategies to gain a level or win. This is what determines the age group or skill level.
Element of surprise – this is the variation of the game. The element of surprise must be built
into the game to provide laughter, excitement, regret or risk.
Replay ability – this is the ability to play the game over and over with different outcomes
each time. This is measured by the ‘boring’ factor. If the child gets bored fast, the game
lacks replay ability.
New information – this is the educational information provided. It may be text or graphics,
and is normally unknown by the age group or skill level for which the game is made.
Memorization – this is the part of the game that rewards good memory. If players are able
to remember the new information, they can advance in the game.
Context and Cognition – this is the part of the game that puts the new information to use.
Players win or score points by matching pairs, answering questions or problem solving.
Gender and Ethnic Balance – the game addresses equity issues through cooperative group
play, language diversity, and character gender options
Armed with that information, let’s take a look at what the PC and console video gaming
industry has to offer. Several game development companies are devoted to designing
video games that help kids learn.
Big Fish Games: These games teach about animal habitats and the solar system, like “Wi ld
Thornberry's Australian Wildlife Rescue” and “Chicken Invaders 2.” They also make mind bending
puzzle games and challenging word group associations, such as “BeTrapped” and “WordSearch
Broderbund: These games allow elementary students to explore spooky museums and learn
about bugs with “Scooby-Doo in The Glowing Bug-Man,” or follow the real life journey of the
Oregon Trail. Middle and high school students can explore the features of shapes and solids and
the relationship between length, perimeter, area and volume with “Mighty Math's Cosmic
Educational Insights : This company makes games that focus on mathematics, acting as tutors in
basic skills from addition and subtraction, to decimals and percentages.
Retrieved from: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Video_Games_Educational/