Video games are gaining ground as a tool to disseminate educational content and train cognitive skills. But what aspects should be taken into account?
Just as there are fanatics, there are detractors who believe that learning does not always have to be entertaining or tied to fun. However, in the new generation accustomed to interactivity, the hyper-reduction of ideas and the audiovisual format, video games appear as an invaluable tool for teaching. But it is not always used to its full potential.
Well designed video games
Guillermo Avebruj, designer Pixowl Lead Game and founder of Fundav and Ludotecario, talked to Infobae about this great debate.
The video game industry is generating products that teach kids, for example, how to program. This gives them the tools to transform them into technology producers, not just consumers.
That’s right. There are several products of that style that worked very well. But you have to remember that education, technology and video games didn’t always get along well. That’s because they didn’t understand the right way to work together. Parents and educators reacted: Were you entertained or were you educating? Only now, after several investigations and studies from other parts of the world, it was understood that, for example, as explained by the expert in this field Jane Mc Gonigal, that a boy accustomed to playing Pokemon knows that there are 300 races of Pokemones that each have their evolutions, their powers, their weaknesses, which are used strategically so that specific combinations of other races are created.
That’s all a lot of information. But then they finish primary school and don’t know how to tell you the capital of a country. So there’s a theme there that is, to be able to use this medium to communicate to the kid that he could maximize his knowledge through, for example, knowing the capital of that country as something necessary to entertain himself. Learning geography doesn’t seem to be the boy’s goal in the first place, because the boy doesn’t have to feel that he’s being taught but learns naturally while entertaining himself.
What about those video game projects, which may not be very lucrative or attractive from a commercial point of view, but which have the potential to contribute a lot in terms of education? What possibilities are given to them to be able to develop and become a reality?
The potential of video games
Precisely thinking about this type of problem is that, a few months ago, we created FUNDAV, which is the Argentine Association of Video Games. It is a nonprofit association that is responsible for certain projects that are not easy to be funded, to get support and monitoring referents that help them become a reality. The truth is that we have very interesting lines, among them education.
But also health, accessibility, dissemination of what video games are, training in video game development and education the use of video games for teaching. There are very interesting encounters that are almost a free video game development club with mentors who help you both to find a team and to develop a project in the right way.