No Playing Video Games Until You Finish Your Video Games!

Love ’em or hate ’em, video games are here to stay.

While video games often get a bad rap for being violent, mindless or expensive, they’ve recently shown that they can be part of education as well.

Educators and parents are turning more towards video games as part of their daily studies to help teach reading, math, science and even computer programing. Just take the West Virginia Science Bowl for example!  During the breaks in between trivia, students had the opportunity to code their own programs to help them design structures in Minecraft.

High school students write code for the game Minecraft at the WV State Science Bowl

High school students write code for the game Minecraft at the WV State Science Bowl.  Photo via WVSB

Now, Minecraft itself is still a great tool to get students thinking about engineering, even if you aren’t coding. If you’ve never seen Minecraft, the whole point of the game is the build structures using the game’s signature block motif. Below is a video how how to build within the game.

And here are some of the amazing things people have built:

Science has plenty of its own video games as well, though. My favorite example is definitely Kerbal Space Program. According the the game’s website, “[Kerbal] is a game where the players create and manage their own space program. Build spacecraft, fly them, and try to help the Kerbals to fulfill their ultimate mission of conquering space.”

It’s an amazing game that utilizes physics and space travel so realistically that NASA even partnered with Kerbal to help design a future mission to an astroid! It’s so realistic, in fact, that failure often happens more than success, which is a great lesson for any future STEM student.

Now it’s not secret that I love video games, so I’m obviously a little bit biased when it comes to encouraging people to engage with them. I’m not the only one encouraging this, though.

Although the research is still new, there have been studies that show video games have the ability to improve learning, with some limitations of course.

So what are your thoughts on video games?  Do you play them, or do you encourage your children to play them?  What other STEM games have you encountered?

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2 thoughts on “No Playing Video Games Until You Finish Your Video Games!

  1. When I first read the title your post, I thought id be against the whole idea of educational video games. I hate how technology is taking over our society. However, the way you covered Minecraft and the education it provides for engineering was persuasive to me. I can definitely see the perks! Well done!

    Like

  2. When I first read the title of this post, I thought I’d be against the idea of using video games as a source for education. I hate how technology is taking over our society. However, your coverage on the Minecraft and the education it provides for engineering was persuasive to me. I can definitely see the perks! Well done!

    Like

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