The first question that any educational game designer should ask is not whether or not games are efficient learning tools (yes, they are!) but how they are going to accomplish their learning objectives.
Without doubt the interest of educators and scholars in games for learning is continuously increasing. Games are engaging, fun, they captivate players’ interest and they are characterized by intuitive and, yet, simple mechanics, allowing players to gradually ease-in.
On the other hand, there are those who are sceptical about the use of games in education. For them, games are considered as a “loss” of time, with only a superficial layer of fun that may not have the objectives they intend to.
The truth is that games are extremely powerful tools and can be used to create intrinsically motivating learning experiences. But games, like any other super-powerful tool, are still tools in the hands of educators. There are some occasions where games may prove to be super-efficient and there are other occasions where games may not be the best approach.
Also, creating successful games that really help players learn and at the same time are fun to play, usually require a great dedication, investment of time and resources. There are contexts where creating educational games may prove to be extremely demanding (or practically unfeasible) with a team’s resources. So, the first question that any educational game designer should ask is not whether or not games are efficient learning tools (yes, they are!) but how they are going to accomplish their learning objectives.