by Mike Masnick

Video Games, Not School, Are Teaching Kids To Think

from the and-this-is-a-good-thing dept

An opinion piece in Wired Magazine points out that our schools aren't doing a very good job teaching our children how to think. Instead, they've gone on a "back to basics" path, with standardized testing, and teaching kids how to memorize facts. However, after school, these kids play video games - and those video games are what really teach kids how to think. The article suggests that video games are "an agent of mental training", which is a different premise than you usually hear, and is a refreshing change from all the articles complaining about violence in video games. This article points out that video games present children with real challenges and puzzles (even the violent ones) that force them to think, make decisions, create, and learn consequences of their actions in ways they're not learning in school. It also points out that the games really challenge kids to push their mental ability to the next level. Most games let you master a lower level, before trouncing you at the next level - forcing you to rethink what you're doing, and figure out a new strategy, and ways to improve. Unfortunately, this is something that our school system doesn't do enough.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Glenn, Apr 25th, 2003 @ 1:43pm

    That explains it...

    Now I understand how I got into Cornell.... after spending all of highschool and some of college learning to conquer Doom and Pac Man, I realize now how productive that time was... it all makes sense now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    dorpus, Apr 25th, 2003 @ 7:49pm

    What if life isn't a game?

    If we leave it to kids, they'll eat donuts all the time and weigh 300 pounds. Still, that is not the right way to eat.

    Just because kids only like games does not mean all of life's knowledge can be taught that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    gary, Apr 27th, 2003 @ 5:32pm

    learning experience

    I was in a different part of town today and noticed a building complex with "6th Grade Center" on it.

    I can hear the beaucrat discussion - if we call it a school, that implies learning, if we call it a center, we can call it a learning experience.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2003 @ 12:36pm

    Re: What if life isn't a game?

    what an ignorant and altogether extremist answer... they arent suggesting that you take your kids out of school and sit them in front of GTA Vice City all day... they are saying that video games arent damaging our kids minds like most people like you would have the public believe.. they may be actually doing some good.. coupled with loving parents and a school system budget that isnt slashed by the likes of George W. we may actually get somewhere in educating our kids..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    david, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:52am

    that is right

    yeah i agree if schools had video games homework. kids world like to go to school and learn and they would get bettwer greads also learn more

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Andrew, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    I agree

    I agree with #4 and #5. Video games can really teach the young people. After all people already use regular games to teach children math and reading...why not use the same approach for older children? Now I'm not saying go home and play 3 hours of GTA and tell me what you learned because some games are just not that good. All forms of media have their “socially unfavorable” sections. TV., movies, and books all have titles that glorify sex and violence. Video games as a media can only follow the trend. However! Video games like TV, movies, and books do have many favorable titles that do have significant value.

    One just has to take the time to invest in research coupled with and open mind to traverse the "crap" of naughty titles and iggnorant claims to find the better truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.