E-sports and education: how games shape learning and skills development

With 589 million viewers expected this year, educators need to pay attention. Games provide teachers and learners with a powerful learning resource.

Students involved in extracurricular activities, whether esports or traditional sports, often see their grades, attendance, and chances for college admission improve because they are more involved in their school work. This could be because they are invested and engaged in their schoolwork themselves.

Stimulate creativity and critical thinking

Electronic sports (competitive computer games) have seen considerable growth and professionalization in recent years. Unfortunately, experts are still unable to accurately assess its societal impact.

Esports doesn’t just develop cognitive skills and fine motor skills; it also cultivates social and communicative benefits, as well as media skills that will benefit students’ future careers. Thus, esports is an ideal platform to develop the soft skills that students will need in their future workplace.

Additionally, many games require players to think through the situation and evaluate all available options to make informed decisions. This critical thinking exercise is part of the learning process and cultivates problem-solving skills that can be used later in life.

Encourage active learning

The challenges posed by games encourage players to think quickly and develop effective strategies, which constitute active learning techniques. Additionally, games encourage collaboration and teamwork by allowing students to collaborate online to complete educational tasks.

Video games provide a safe space for learners to make mistakes without facing real-life repercussions. This can help students develop a growth mindset and become more resilient in the face of failure, which translates into better performance in school and life.

Gamification involves incorporating gaming elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards into classroom learning activities. Studies have shown that this practice increases students’ motivation to learn while correlating with various aspects of engagement in learning: achievement, social connections, immersive elements as well as inner experience and meaning. of learning.

Promote decision-making

Video games present players with challenging scenarios that demand rapid decision-making, training them to react quickly, assess risks accurately, and strategize quickly in response to pressured work environments or stressful situations. emergency. This experience has real-world applications.

Explore simulation games that promote strategic thinking and planning, such as resource management, city building, economic modeling, and more. Discuss team games that promote communication and collaborative decision-making to improve interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, and the ability to make effective decisions at the group level.

Take into account that most studies on the cognitive impact of games compare professional eSports players to non-players, without accounting for differences in practice and playing time, leading to significant bias in the evaluation of the cognitive effects of games. Give examples from anecdotes and research that show how players’ problem-solving skills improve over time through their gaming experiences.

Promoting collaboration and teamwork

Gaming teams form frequently, which builds collaboration skills. Each member must work together to achieve goals and overcome challenges, while learning to support and encourage each other when needed. With practice, they also develop positive attitudes toward problem solving and quickly adapt to setbacks by finding alternative solutions.

Online gaming requires communication and collaboration between players around the world, which helps players develop their communication and collaboration skills while honing their computer skills. According to the research results, the games also allow them to identify the geographic locations of other players (using software to locate them on maps) and instantly exchange messages with other players around the world.

These skills are essential in academic and professional settings, as well as for building social relationships in real life, but the nature of gaming can create a feeling of isolation for players who spend a lot of time playing alone.

Promote a growth mindset

Players may be perceived as unmotivated, but in reality, they are often hard workers who thrive. Players’ ability to accept failure and emerge stronger has been linked to better academic performance. Carol Dweck’s reference book on mindset suggests that people with a growth mindset view challenges as something they can overcome more easily, which inspires them to do more. efforts than those who do not have this state of mind.

Competitive video games have even made their way into education systems, like Japan’s Esports High School , which combines traditional school work with intensive video game training. Students who participate in e-sports and other extracurricular activities tend to be more educated, perform better on exams, are more likely to go to college, and are healthier, with fewer problems such as drug and alcohol abuse.

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