Online Gaming as an Educational Medium

Educational Potential of Online Gaming

Over the past two decades, electronic games have become ingrained in our culture. Children’s fixation with these games initially alarmed parents and educators, but educational researchers soon questioned whether the motivation to play could be tapped and harnessed for educational purposes. However, although many claim that educational potential lies within video games, they still have not been universally been regarded as a quality learning tool. Patricia Greenfield (Mind and Media) claimed in 1984 that with increasing technology and increased research that future video games would be a vital component to the educational process. David Sheff (Video Games: A Guide for Savvy Parents) said almost the exactly same thing in 1994. Thus, it seems as if the issue of using video games for educational purposes is still not fully accepted and their implementation brings forth many concerns. It is also seen that we have constantly regarded video games as having high potential and that their use in education will be vital in the near future. However, these visions have remained the same as time has passed and the "foreseeable" goal of implementation has still yet to be reached, for we keep pushing the time line further into the future. This brings forth the question of will this push back continue as years pass or will the educational potential of video games be reached in the near future?

Video games are seen as a good learning tool because many think that they can teach children in ways that their teachers are failing by sparking their minds, stimulating their thinking, and inspiring their imaginations.

Educational Potential of Online Gaming

With the advent of online gaming, additional possibilities of using video games as a learning tool have been brought forth. Although learning within a cooperative group setting has been found to be extremely effective, designing educational games to support multiple-players working together has received little attention. Using a multi-player game format could provide the motivation that children need to learn and at the same time enhance both the achievement and social interactions of the children. Once again, much potential is seen in using video games as an educational tool but they have received little of the attention which they deserve.

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This document was created April 19, 1998 and last modified on  Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 17:34:51.
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