“Can you stop playing video games already? You’re about to go daft!”
Would you agree with that statement? Or is it possible to use the trend of gaming as a way to transfer knowledge? We as the SAP Young Thinkers have asked ourselves that question. For us, it is very import that we highlight one crucial aspect: Enjoy learning.
Edutainment enables you to unite educational content with playful and entertaining elements. More often than not, media is used as a leverage in modern education. Especially video games are booming, as they are popular amongst various ages.
But first: What is educational gaming anyways?
Educational gaming is best described as enhancing the general development – whether that is motor, cognitive or social development. As the word suggests, this is done a rather casual way. However, it is important that the framework is designed playful and fun. The overarching goal of this way of learning is to set the scene as a video game and to lay down certain ground rules that provide guidance. That way, children are able to learn and develop through trial and error. Education should always be that fun, exciting and cool, right?
In order for the outcome to be advantageous to the person, it is important that this method is perceived as effective and successful. Therefore, the content and challenges should be according to one’s current level of education to counteract any failure and a potential loss of motivation.
What is the connection between video gaming and educational gaming?
The core should be pretty obvious. Video games are super fun, entertaining and popular amongst all ages. But how can children and teens learn something from gaming?
Video games are often performance-related, they have different hurdles that need to be tackled in order to move to the next level. Oftentimes, it is required of you to be during the game. Performance and interaction are two characteristics which can also be found in education. Gamers acquire capabilities that have an impact on their performance as well as capabilities that have an effect on their reality. To only name a handful of examples, positive improvements could be an increase in visual perception, an improved hand-eye-coordination and an upgraded spatial perception (Breuer, 2010, S.12).
Did we spark your interest? Here are two exciting games for you to try.
- Re-Mission is a game with challenging 20 levels that takes the player on a journey through the body of young patients with different kinds of cancer. This state-of-the-art game is designed to be cool and fun, while helping players to increase their personal knowledge about cancer and the human body.
- 3rd World Farmer is simulating the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. Players gets to manage an own farm and are soon confronted with the often difficult choices that poverty and conflicts necessitate. This game making the players “experience” the injustices, rather than being told about them to create a deeper and more personal reflection on the topics.
We, as the SAP Young Thinkers, use gaming to playfully introduce software- and economic topics to young people. We support students to explore and try programming for the first time with Snap! or make them aware of sustainability issues and 21st century skills through MicroBlocks. The courses and tasks where own games can be developed are the most popular. In ERPsim game, participants learn how to handle economic decisions and how they impact success with a real SAP software.
We want to make sure that people from all over the world can try out new stuff and find out what they enjoy the most. Programming? Economics? Design Thinking? Whatever! It’s important to create opportunities where young people can evolve and improve without judgement. Everyone should be able to test their own competencies and skills without having to fear real-life consequences. All that is possible in video games which is why they are oftentimes also referred to as “safe private laboratories”.
In my eyes, this is exactly what it is about – to playfully convey knowledge, competencies and skills with lots of fun. Children have to learn that it is normal to make mistakes and that it can take a few tries before being able to succeed. This is relevant not only in education but also in the real world.
What is SAP doing with gaming?
If you know any children and teens that love video games, show them the SAP E-Sports Experience. This is a great opportunity to learn how programming and SAP software can be use in E-Sports.
What can you do with gaming?
Now it’s up to you! What are you thinking about connecting video games with educational gaming? Are you aware of any games that could be suitable for learning? If so, please feel free to comment down below.