Can video games be used in education? The answer to that question depends on the content and age of the students. The Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) assigns ratings based on game content. Games rated E are appropriate for all ages; games rated M are meant for those who are at least 17 years old. Regardless of the content of the games, parents should set parental controls to monitor what their children are watching and playing. They can also restrict internet access and in-game purchases. Video gaming in educational settings is not an unsupervised free-for-all, but an opportunity for critical thinking and exploration. As educators, we need to manage gameplay in a way that helps students explore new ideas and solve real-world problems.
One game that can be used in education is Minecraft. This game involves planning, collaboration and basic math. Teachers have found that students can use Minecraft to teach coding, math, and collaboration. In fact, Microsoft and Mojang have teamed up to create a special edition of Minecraft for education. While the video game may seem like a gimmick, many educators see it as a powerful teaching tool.
Video games may also help students identify their shortcomings and stimulate learning. This can be useful for students with attention problems and those who have trouble focusing, because games give immediate feedback. Using video games for education does not harm students, but the right use should be chosen. The best way to use video games is to break up a monotonous study routine and relax. The benefits are not limited to the education sector, though.