Game-based education: Video games are the answer to modern classroom problems


Credit: Ender Ross

Coolmath Games is one of the websites frequently used by kids to relax during free time in class. It hosts a variety of games designed for kids of all age levels

Anthony Herrera, Guest Writer

Remember when you were a kid playing games on Maybe it was a different website like Starfall or PBS Kids. What these have in common is that you were learning while having fun. 

Senior Joaquin Alvarez said, “Games are a way of expanding the learning experience while eliminating the repetitiveness so many students complain about.”

In the Kalamazoo Public Schools District, there is a war against games. Anything categorized as a game is being blocked by KPS, even many of the educational ones. 

Seldom will you find a classroom where gaming is being used as a form of teaching. More and more you see Kahoot or Quizizz in classrooms: these are a step in the right direction, but they’re still just glorified tests and can feel tedious. 

Alvarez said, “Nobody wants to be here because it’s not fun, especially with us being here for so long.”

Gaming is a way to present challenging and essential skills that kids/young adults may otherwise resist. 

In an article written by Hoa P. Nyugen and published by Edutopia, the example of teachers Joe Dillon and Marina Lombardo craft a poem-writing activity in Minecraft: Education Edition. Students move through a maze and visit rooms to learn how to make their writing more descriptive: this game takes inspiration from Georgia Heard’s Six-Room-Poem Activity

Loy Norrix Esports advisor and teacher Brandon Wood stated that “Video games for subjects such as chemistry and history have a lot of potential because they can help students visualize logical thought progression.” Wood continued, “All options should be available to students to ensure everyone is learning to the best of their abilities.”

joWood recommends games that require students to put themselves in situations otherwise deemed impossible. Games like “Civilization” and “Call of Duty” offer enough fiction in relation to real historical events that help students who have a hard time engaging with the current classroom curriculum. 

Online labs can help students visualize processes that can’t be replicated in a classroom for monetary, safety, or punctual reasons. These simulations provide a way to fix mistakes and understand why an element of their way doesn’t work all on their own. Games such as “Fortnite,” “Apex Legends” and “League of Legends” are examples of these. Currently games in Michigan high school esports feature “Smite,” “Rocket League” and “Overwatch.”

Wood said, “Cooperative games are great opportunities for gamers.”

 People who consider themselves gamers are often solitary people. Learning how to work with other people is even more crucial for this demographic. The classroom is missing this, but is often seen in Esport organizations like the Michigan High School Esports Federation. 

Games such as “Apex Legends” and “League of Legends” have been featured previously. All of these games require teams to be coordinated and methodical in their approach. 

It is clear that a change in the curriculum of classes are needed. The addition of video games in conjunction with current methods of teaching are bound to create a more fun and engaging learning environment.