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What is Educational Game?

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Introduction

Games and games-based learning have been a part of education for decades. However, with new technological advances, digital games have recently emerged as a new teaching tool. Neuroscience has proven that "Games are tailor made to fit the very different tasks animals and humans will face." (Frost, Wortham, and Reifel, p. 66)

From Wikipedia, we can found that Educational games are games explicitly designed with educational purposes, or which have incidental or secondary educational value. All types of games may be used in an educational environment.

Educational games are games that are designed to help people to learn about certain subjects, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play. Game types include board, card, and video games. An educational game is a game designed to teach humans about a specific subject and to teach them a skill.

As educators, governments, and parents realize the psychological need and benefits of gaming have on learning, this educational tool has become mainstream. Games are interactive play that teach us goals, rules, adaptation, problem solving, interaction, all represented as a story. They satisfy our fundamental need to learn by providing enjoyment, passionate involvement, structure, motivation, ego gratification, adrenaline, creativity, social interaction and emotion in the game itself while the learning takes place.


A game is a structured or semi-structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes also used as an educational tool.

One clever and innovative technique to further stimulate creative and analytical thinking among students is the use of educational games, either traditional or computer game software to enhance learning mathematics.

Educational games are games; board and card games, including video games that are designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play.

Types of Educational Games

Board Games
A board game is a game played with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a "board" (a premarked surface, usually specific to that game.

Examples:

  • Acquire
  • Axis and Allies
  • Boggle
  • Brain Chain
  • Scrabble
  • Upwords.

Card Games

An educational card game is any game using playing cards, either traditional or game-specific. Generally these games expand concepts, such as the food chain, set matching, etc. Card games use as a central tool a deck of cards. The cards may be a standard Anglo-American (52-card) deck of playing cards.
 
Video and PC Games

Some people call these types of games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment. Closely related to the use of educational games is the use of what is known as Serious games.

There are many educational games. Games that parents and teachers play with children usually have some kind of educational value. Some examples include:

  • Jumpstart
  • Reader Rabbit
  • The ClueFinders
  • Gcompris
  • eduProfix
  • Zoombinis
  • Pelmanism
  • Quest atlantis
  • Urban Jungle
  • Storybook Weaver
  • Giizmos & Gadgets

Most of these types of games target young user from the ages of about three years to mid-teens; past the mid-teens, subjects become so complex that teaching via a game is impractical. Numerous subgenres exist, each for a different field (math games, typing games and so on). To play interactive educational games on Internet, click the following links. Make sure your computer is Internet ready!

Playing educational games also help us and children with focus, self esteem, and memory. Educational games can help a child focus because they are being patient while waiting to achieve getting to the next level. Playing these games help their self esteem because sometimes they get a quicker reaction from the game system and they can really see how they have accomplished something. In the games there are milestones that the children will have to reach and at the end of each stage they receive something that they will have to have in the next stage. This is also where their focus comes into play because they will take their time to make sure they do things correctly so that they may go on longer in the game (Schuna)

A primary advantage of educational games is that students can work on multiple skills and subjects across the curriculum at once. The 2010 Horizon Report expands on this idea and includes a long list of benefits from “open-ended, challenge-based, truly collaborative games” such as MMOs. Using games of this type can open opportunities for students to work on skills in all areas of traditional education while at the same time including research skills, problem-solving and leadership. 

In conclusion, Prensky argues that children are naturally motivated to play games. Serious Games are interactive play that teach students goals, rules, adaptation, problem solving, interaction, all represented as a story. They give them the fundamental needs of learning by providing enjoyment, passionate involvement, structure, motivation, ego gratification, adrenaline, creativity, social interaction and emotion. "Play has a deep biological, evolutionarily important, function, which has to do specifically with learning."(Prensky, p. 6)