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The new era is here, we looked at Classroom v1.7 and now let’s look at another aspect of how technology can change the entire way we learn. In Classroom v1.7, we stated numerous advantages about electronic devices replacing printed textbooks, which is just reinventing the entire way how books are distributed and read.

Embracing another platform is how video games are also entering the education field. As you all know, there are many educational games for pre-school such as – and I’m not holding back – Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants and  many more.

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Nevertheless, the prejudice against video games are always about bringing up the bad effects of video gaming. Let’s just say that besides hurting your eyes and corrupting your mind (that’s controllable), it is much more beneficial than anything you could think of in terms of improving personal skills.

Having a game like Okami really does bring out a way of how games can portray art in its finest way possible. This game in particular is based on the artwork of the Japanese sumi-e style. Immersive gameplay that you can even interact with the game’s environment since you are in control of a brush and you can gesture shapes or some drawings in the game.

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Old game, but one of the best I’ve seen

Then comes puzzle games where there are several that I personally fell in love with. Trine is an action-adventure, and 2D side-scrolling platformer game where you can use up to 3 characters, one at a time (unless multiplayer). The thing I like the most about the game is that everything is pretty much straightforward unless you collect all the treasures. These pesky treasures really teases you as it is within your sight, but far from your hands; but thanks to your Wizard, you’re able to levitate objects, conjure boxes and planks to reach it.

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So we have covered pre-school educational games and also brain teasers. What’s next?

Try going for a game such as Portal by Valve. You can make up a wormhole, (or portals in English) hence the name. Art is simple, it’s easy to understand but not for those who gets dizzy easily thanks to the hurling camera angles.

This simple game is now being released to educators and students. Two new websites by Valve, one is Teach With Portals and another is Learn With Portals. Interestingly with such simple mechanism, Valve is releasing the map maker (called Puzzle Maker) – specifically for Portal – for educators to create puzzles to increase students’ cognitive skills and also learning things such as parabolas, gravity and terminal velocity.

We could already see that this entire idea is versatile towards all levels of education of all fields and it promises learning plans for subjects such as :

  • Physics
  • Maths
  • Chemistry
  • Game design
  • Language arts
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An image of how the portals work

That is not all, video games are also proven to have another effect is that it trains your reaction time and is actually also recommended to surgeons so that their hands can be less shaky while performing tasks. We’ve also seen things such as Flight Simulator to give you a hint on how it is to fly a plane, or maybe some other simulation game such as the German Truck Simulator or the Street Cleaner Simulator.

Given (not so) direct hands-on on the subject at hand, it is much easier to learn this way thanks to technology and developers who are striving for a better way to learn and teach. It’s tangible yet intuitive and immersive. You can practically “learn” for hours without knowing since you got so caught up with the game!

So, what do you think? Does games redefine the way education works? Is it for the better or for the worse?


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