It’s likely that the majority of British school pupils play video games. From smartphones to games consoles, there are a lot of games available to them. Here, teacher-in-training and gamer Matthew Banfield explores the possibilities that the incredibly popular Minecraft presents to schools.
Working in education, you have most likely heard of Minecraft. This game has captured a generation, giving people who play the game an unlimited space to explore and express themselves. The game may well have taken over your classroom through the huge amount of merchandise available, from pencil cases to books.
Games based learning is an area that offers education fascinating possibilities, and different methods are explored daily. However, are certain games, such as Candy Crush, based on a format too addictive to be used in schools? ReadingWise writer Dave Waddell discusses the matter, and considers how games can be used for promoting literacy.
The relative virtual popularity of Dana Smith’s This is what Candy Crush does to your brain - recently posted on the Guardian’s online Notes and Theories science desk – may mean one or two things: either people are genuinely interested in the idea that it is, as Smith says, a by-design addictive game; or any article with the words ‘candy’ and ‘crush’ in its title is certain to get a degree of misdirected traffic.
Eat chocolate and ice cream for a balanced diet! Be universally popular by saying exactly what’s on your mind! Pass exams by playing computer games! If you think this is fantasy, then you’d be right – 66.7% of the time.
It’s the computer games claim that’s not fantasy. As early as 2002 a group called Teachers Evaluating Educational Multimedia produced a report which was consulted by the Department of Education: it showed how even games without an explicitly educational content could develop a range of critical skills in children. Last year a survey by researchers from Michigan State University was presented to the Third International Cognitive Load Theory Conference, which confirmed that Internet use and video games significantly help young adolescents who are struggling with literacy.