Can Video Games Revolutionize Education?

The creators of Minecraft, for example, a game in which complex structures are built out of simple cubes, have created an educational version of the software.

The ability of video games to keep students' attention, synthesize knowledge, and provide hours of practice on a variety of academic subjects without the need for human resources has attracted an increasing number of educators to the entertainment medium. The creators of Minecraft, for example, a game in which complex structures are built out of simple cubes, have created an educational version of the software. Students can be taught "mathematical concepts including perimeter, area, probabilities, as well as foreign languages."


"Beyond teaching, video games can also offer useful information about how well a child is learning and can even provide helpful visual displays of that information... Video games can also provide instantaneous feedback—typically via scores—that teachers and students can use to determine how well students understand what the games are trying to teach them."

One limitation of games seems to be their specific effect on the brain. While games can be very useful at increasing the memory capacity of children, as measured by a 2013 Cambridge University study, for example, those benefits did not extend to other areas such as their ability to grasp abstract concepts or express themselves in spoken or written language.

In his Big Think interview, Carnegie Mellon University professor Jesse Schell observes that there is a huge demand for video games to help improve people's lives. Beyond the classroom, video games may act as life coaches for anyone who would like one:

Read more at Scientific American

Photo credit: Shutterstock

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

Many governments do not report, or misreport, the numbers of refugees who enter their country.

David McNew/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Conflict, violence, persecution and human rights violations led to a record high of 70.8 million people being displaced by the end of 2018.

Keep reading Show less

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Keep reading Show less

Bernie Sanders' student debt plan bails out the rich

Bernie Sanders reveals an even bigger plan than Elizabeth Warren, but does it go too far?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bernie Sanders has released a plan to forgive all the student debt in the country.
  • It is even larger than the plan Elizabeth Warren put forward two months ago.
  • The plan has drawn criticism for forgiving the debt of both the poor and those well off enough to pay their own debt.
Keep reading Show less