The Effectiveness Of Educational Games
A game is essentially a structured type of play, normally undertaken for fun or entertainment, and occasionally utilised as a teaching tool. Games are quite different from homework, which most often are carried out only for pleasure, and from fine arts, which are more usually an expression of artistic or aesthetic elements. In most cases, the object of games is to provide entertainment, while education is frequently incidental, or one of great secondary importance. Educational games, in general, tend to follow a prescribed curriculum which has as its goal the development of the skills, techniques and knowledge of all children enrolled in the game. Although this is not an exclusive prerequisite, educational games almost always involve some element of curriculum reformulation.
The curriculum reformulation comes in many forms. In traditional education games, such as Pictionary, were almost certainly played by the child, and were therefore part of the educational process. Newer types of games, such as the virtual teacher, however, are generally presented to the child at an early age, during his or her playtime, rather than introduced during class time. This is usually done through the use of computer-based games that can be played and assessed without the need for the child to interact with other children. Computer games present complex problems that require a different set of skills and mental processes to those required in playing traditional games.
Educational games are often chosen according to the interests of the child playing them. An educational board game, for example, might be designed for a child who has a preference for numbers, shapes and colors. In this case, the child is being encouraged to learn how to count, along with learning the associated concepts like color, number and shape. Board games are also very successful in promoting the overall health of a child’s mind, because they are so closely connected with basic motor skills. As such, they provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to develop their problem solving and abstract thinking skills, all of which will impact their educational and emotional development for the rest of their lives.