An interesting recent talk of Daphne Bavelier of the University of Geneva on the benefits of using games in educational contexts comes to confirm once more the great impact of games on learning. In her talk, she tries to break common misconceptions and urban legends about the use of video games and their allegedly harmful effects on vision, attention and development of cognitive skills.
In addition to this, I couldn’t help but notice the post of esteemed colleague, Romain Gibert, on this occasion and his analysis of the use of games in classroom. In his article, Romain also reflects on what the academic and instructional design community has been discussing for years, the use of commercial games in classroom as well as the development of new titles by both the industry and academia in order to deal with the “brocoli” effect.
Romain’s article can be found here: DailyLearningNews
Cooperation between academic institutions, instructional designers and the gaming industry would be an interesting turn of events. Even if there have been efforts to create games like this in the past, the gap of communication and different objectives of each party have made the work difficult. However, since technology is easing-in in our lives and casual games become more and more accessible and reach great audiences, the idea of creating games with educational impact becomes more and more appealing.
Games whose learning objectives have been integrated into gaming objectives and their core mechanics are connected with the development of specific cognitive skills can be very strong learning tools. Additionally, projects like this could have an appeal on the industry, since studios will be able to monetize their products while not intervening on educational objectives.
This topic will become more and more interesting as time passes by and the next generation of educational games will definitely be affected by this direction.