A Graphic That Itemizes The Educational Value Of Video Games

The educational value of video games is a matter of debate, and perhaps rightfully so.

Nothing works for everyone, every time. There is no single best way to teach or learn. So when trends in learning emerge, in technology or otherwise, it makes sense that some educators would jump aboard, and some would hesitate.

How to teach with video games isn’t always obvious. A teacher looking at a Common Core Standard, then looking at the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game may a bit incredulous.

While it’s true that you can teach anything with almost anything, optimizing teaching and learning means aligning a learner’s ability or need, a learning experience, and a learning objective. And there is little doubt that video games and related learning simulations bring powerful learning ingredients to the table, as the graphic below highlights using the old Star Wars video games Knights of the Old Republic.

The graphic attempts to highlight the educational value of video games using annotation of a screenshot, and does a nice job. It points out the literary elements (plot), cognitive action (problem-solving) and emotional “strands” (fun) of video games. While the approach here is great, it might’ve gone even further though to really examine what’s happening on the screen–and in the player’s mind–at any given time.

The resource management, complicated inventories, complex user interfaces, and macro goal and progress tracking are just the beginning of the interaction between a player’s mind and their video game. That said, this graphic was among the first we’ve seen to take a concrete look at game-based learning through the lens of a screenshot.

video_gamesGraphic courtesy; A Graphic That Itemizes The Educational Value Of Video Games