Having fun increases the levels of dopamine, endorphins and oxygen in a person’s body: all essential ingredients for learning.
For educational games to succeed, their creators must be meticulous about striking a delicate balance between education and entertainment. The top universities have compiled a list of the evolution over time of different types of digital games for teaching students, ranging from DOS games like Oregon Trail to the latest version of the Scratch programming app for kids. .
Twenty years ago, children took computer classes in school with specific units for programming, typing, and other concepts. Today, students learn these same concepts by playing Minecraft, creating their own servers for games, creating and installing “mods” that change the gaming experience, and learning old-school HTML to create 90s flashback looks on their itch.io pages.
But with any discussion of video games comes the debate over screen time, which has long been a point of contention between parents and children. While educational games served as a compromise, the pandemic has caused most parents to concede screen time for online learning. And without a physical classroom, many educators seized the opportunity to use video games in unconventional ways to teach history, science, and coding during the height of pandemic-induced remote learning.
The world of educational video games is a rich industry with decades of history. These games tie directly into analog educational technologies such as creative worksheets, classroom role-playing projects, and even educational vinyl albums from decades past. Developers are constantly iterating to make the latest technologies more educational.