BY AGNESS WALEWINDER
Web games have soared in popularity over the last decade, gaining traction as stress relievers and time wasters for people of all ages. However, in a 2013 Stanford study of college panelists, students were observed bettering their educational tools and learning abilities through the regular play of web games. Most of these students never realized that they were learning or building their educational abilities; therefore, the realization that they were learning something never took the fun away from the web games.
There have been further studies, such as those documented in the Huffington Post in 2014, that suggest children of all ages, especially toddlers, can learn from web games. Toddler web games tend to be more directly educational with focused themes on colors, numbers, alphabet letters, and other need-to-know elements.
College students are often overwhelmed with their studies, so downtime is cherished and commonly spent vegging out in front of the latest gadgets. That said, web games are popular throughout college campuses, especially action or strategy games that require concentration and patience. These kinds of games allow students to leave their real-world dilemmas behind, choosing instead to focus on the make-believe missions and objectives on the screen.
With the introduction of these insightful studies, hundreds of new web games are released on an annual basis on platforms like Poki. This game platform actually features a category of educational games, like the Geography Game, Fast Typer, and Tunnel Rush.
Tunnel Rush is an indirectly educational web game that sends gamers hurtling through a colorful warp zone of moving obstacles. The longer a player survives, the faster the game gets, and the more challenging the obstacles become. It’s the sci-fi equivalent of dodgeball on the interwebs, which teaches players how to avoid dangers while concentrating on reaching a new, safer destination.
IMAGE 3: Tunnel Rush – a game that will make you think and get more strategic.
Additionally, the obstacles change with every gameplay, keeping players on their proverbial toes to keep minds keen and reactions sharp.
Student Classes Vs. Web Game Teachings: How Do These Skills Help in the Real World?
The whole point of going to school is to learn and grow as individuals who can then contribute in a well-rounded way to our communities and society. While some student classes are for fun, in the same way that some web games are for fun, there is always something to be learned in both, regardless of how subtle those educational elements are.
Cooking and baking classes, especially in college, help students learn the basics of preparing something sustainable and delicious to either further their careers in the dining industry, provide for themselves and future families, or both. In high school, you can find cooking and baking classes in Home Economics, since nourishing oneself is essential to becoming an adult.
Coincidentally, there are cooking and baking games that teach both time management and the importance of preparation. Educational cooking games usually ask players to piece together a recipe, in which case organization skills are a must. Ergo, a player learns how to organize their ingredients, put together a recipe by following directions, and manage time to ensure a meal comes out perfectly. While all gamers could benefit from these sorts of web games, young players have the advantage of learning kitchen safety, such as using mitts to retrieve dishes from the oven. Most web games geared towards younger crowds encourage parental supervision and interaction.
Perhaps one of the best examples of the correlation between web games and student classes would be basic study skills. During important tests, such as the SAT in high school or mid-term exams throughout college, patience, concentration, determination, and focus are required. In one way or another, almost every web game one could play requires the aforementioned skills. Some are subtle in their mastery of these skills, while others offer a direct approach of mini games and specific objectives that require players to perfect these skills to progress through levels and complete a game.
Another example would be in interactions. Various web games can be played with multiple players from around the world. Just like class projects, these games ask players to cooperate to accomplish missions, thus honing interactive skills, like basic communication and strategic group thinking.
Agness Walewinder is a game geek by passion extremely interested in exploring connections between web games and their role in students’ learning abilities. She also works at Poki- a playground for kids of all games. This playful platform features plenty of games such as Fast Typer or Tunnel Rush that can help with improving concentration and enhance players memory.