How video games can help with education

Today, I’m going to list the top 5 subjects I learned from video games where school failed. I’m writing this because if you know someone who’s struggling in school, sometimes thinking outside the box will work better than just harping on someone to “do better!”

I’m also writing this because seeing the general school system from the outside (and because I’m not a parent), there’s certain moments I scratch my head because those in charge forgot what it’s like to be a child, and how having fun is the best way to learn.

5. P.E. (Physical Education, or as I call it, Public Embarrassment)

Some sort of physical movement is needed, and yes can provide a healthy lifestyle. Problem is, in the US most of the higher ups don’t think outside the box, therefore making physical education a chore/boring. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) is one step towards having healthy kids (and adults) engage in physical activity because it’s a mix of music/exercise with rewards of unlocking new songs for those who meet certain requirements.

The reason why I chose this over Wii Fit; this is where I lost some weight when I was younger, and wouldn’t mind owning another copy of the game itself if it ever gets a re-release.

4. Math

There was a time where I struggled with numbers, and this game helped curb my counting skills and instead I achieved high test and homework scores.

Number Munchers did a lot right with a few wrong. Even today, the game can still be found on various tablets and phones, and can actually help with those struggling. This is an excellent example of how gaming can teach students to do better in school in a fun way. There’s cut scenes after achieving certain levels, and the game does get harder. The game can go from early childhood to college level.

3. History

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it

This is one series where the accuracy of certain historical figures is spot-on. No, it’s not always about killing the next target; but learning about certain parts of history in a manner where students can recall certain events accurately. I remember the series saving me in college for one test because I passed due to an actual mission during one of the later games co-insiding with a lesson I was struggling with remembering.

So the next time someone says Assassin’s Creed is trash, debate that it’s a history book in video game form.

2. Drivers Ed

Granted I played the series after getting my license for the first time, this is still one game that taught me proper driving techniques.

My driving record proves this series is one example of how a game can mimic actual, real life driving, and prevent potential accidents by actually knowing what you’re getting into. The game doesn’t teach you to drive fast, it teaches you to drive correctly. Proper breaking, car manufacturers with their dis/advantages, proper tires for your vehicle, and how weather will affect your driving to be a better driver overall. Endurance races also teach you proper time management involving using the bathroom, money spending, and checking for getting the car maintained to keep the car running as intended. The biggest take a way from the series – there’s a reason why Gran Turismo is used in car dealerships, and even has its own tournament for actual real drivers.

  1. Reading/Writing

I remember when I was younger, the school system mentioned I had a reading problem, and even had me in special classes. One X-Mas, my parents bought me an NES, and ever since my reading skill went from borderline unreadable to excelling in certain classes. The biggest issue of my reading skill wasn’t so much as not being able to read, it’s being able to visualize what I was reading. Example:

The brown fox jumped over the fence.

I can actually see a fox in my head jumping over a fence. This is something the teachers back then couldn’t fathom. Now, it’s not so much as bad as back then. Yes at times I still might have a slight stutter, and yes I may have to reread something to understand what’s going on, but I am able to successfully read thanks to video games. Comic Books also helped as I was growing up, but video games is what helped correct my reading issues.

Honorable mentions

Fallout New Vegas – Certain scientific methods can save your life, which are after actual moments in science discoveries

Street Fighter 2 – Improving hand/eye coordination for artistic projects

Tetris – Patience, pattern recognition, and the ability to manage storage

Tekken – Video game music to help concentrate more which I achieved higher test scores

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