Gone are the days where parents can yell at their kids for playing video games with good reason.
NPR Ed wrote on the growing study of why people play and play relates to learning. No, the survey didn’t involve asking questions to kids, but instead reached out to professors and directors of research labs at Stanford University and Arizona State University.
James Gee, the godfather of game-based assessment and professor of education at Arizona State University said, “Is a video game a test or a learning encounter? It’s both. You’re always being tested — you can’t get out of a level until you finish it.”
As adults that grew up playing all different kinds of systems, we love the idea of using gaming to measure the abilities of students.
Does anybody remember playing Number Munchers on your elementary school teacher’s MAC that seems like an antique now? All you wanted to do was answer the presented problems correctly so you wouldn’t be eaten by the monsters. You also wanted to be able to brag to your friends about who had a higher score and who got to a higher level.
While competitiveness might be the one of the few consequences of using video games in place of tests, that is also the case in written or standardized tests as it is. The only major problem with replacing video games with tests is the reduction of responsibility for a teacher. Developers and administrators need to find a good balance for gaming and unplugged education. Once they do, we will see a time in history where schooling became extremely personalized and teachers can swiftly figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each student through in-game psychology and reports.
So remember kids, if your parents are yelling at you for playing too many video games, just tell them you’re taking a test. We promise they’ll understand.