Learning Through Video Games

A game is a structured type of play, usually undertaken purely for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Games are quite different from work, which in most cases is normally carried out for recreation, and from literature, which tends to be more of an expressive or aesthetic component of cultural or artistic views. In work, one creates the game, often through some kind of formal creative process; in literature, one creates the theme, plot, characters, etc. In games, a player creates the game in the form of rules or structures which he/she has to follow. This distinction helps us to understand that a game cannot be an objective study of anything.


To understand how a game can be used as a learning tool, we need to distinguish between the two main types of learning. In learning, a learner seeks out information or facts about a subject, interacts with it, and seeks to derive new knowledge or learn old information. An interactive game, on the other hand, introduces an element of challenge, because it requires a student to apply his knowledge and skills in a real setting, where precise interaction is necessary for learning. Such game involves the active involvement of the players, both in the process of acquiring the necessary information and in the generation of new knowledge or concepts. It brings players together, develops group interaction, builds critical thinking skills, helps players refine strategies and to develop their creativity.

The second form of learning is passive, or analytical learning. It is conducted after the introduction of rules of a game, in the same way as in education, when students are required to derive knowledge from a set of rules. Although the rules of a game may vary according to the theme of the game (e.g., a hunting game could also call for the analysis of game strategy), the process of learning remains the same. Analytical games help to understand rules of the game by analyzing the consequences of each rule. Students also come to recognize how other players interpret rules of the game and learn to evaluate and apply the rules to their own purposes.

The third type is active learning. It involves active engagement of the player, in the process of learning. For this type of learning, players are confronted with problems that require a solution. They learn by engaging with a problem that they have to solve themselves and by communicating and cooperating with other players. Students learn through the process of problem solving.

The last common type of learning is spoon-fed learning, which means that rules of the game are learnt through being fed with information that the student needs to solve a problem. Most video games fall under this category. For instance, most strategy games let the player choose a military unit and give them orders to attack, occupy or pursue a target. In the process of learning military tactics, students can simply search the Internet for relevant videos, read books on military history and listen to military radio transmissions. They can also watch films about wars or watch TV shows based on military themes.

Video games can help enhance your cognitive, mathematical and emotional skills. This is why they can be used as a learning tool in schools. Games help people learn by getting involved with the process of solving a problem or following a game format. With this in mind, you can now start playing some games and enjoy the benefits that await you.