Here’s what the education sector can learn from gaming

Gaming is much more than just playing games; gaming is learning and it offers many opportunities to make digital education more attractive and efficient – especially for pupils

The public often puts gaming in a very specific corner – saying, “Gaming is harmful for children,” for example –  yet there are numerous studies that come to a different conclusion and point to the positive aspects of gaming. For example, that games promote creativity and spatial perception, especially in children and young people.

‘Gaming is more than gambling – gaming is learning’

Games can be recreational, and help people create or maintain social relationships. This has just been demonstrated in the pandemic. For many children and young people, playing online together was a way to stay in touch with their friends, experience adventures together and exchange ideas, despite the enforced distance.

But COVID-19 also made clear the areas in which we have not used the possibilities of games – for instance in school and higher education. In the education sector, we make far too little use of the numerous possibilities and positive aspects of games – but gaming is much more than gambling, gaming is learning.

Not ‘either/or’, but ‘both/as well’

While many schools and universities have used digital learning platforms and virtual learning spaces in their teaching, gaming learning environments have hardly been used at all. This is a big mistake. The pandemic ruthlessly exposed our weaknesses in the area of digital learning; for example, although various digital learning platforms and virtual 3D learning spaces were used, you can’t describe them as a playful learning environment. But I don’t want to pit one learning method against the other. My point is that we should use all available possibilities to create the best learning environments for each type of learner.

The pandemic ruthlessly exposed our weaknesses in the area of digital learning

Game design brings the ideas of future media such as computer games, video games and apps to life. Games are entertainment and business in one, but in the area of serious games, they can also make a significant contribution to solving social problems, for example, on learning or communication platforms. The areas of application of these skills outside the games sector have surged, especially in the pandemic.

The future of game design – a field with unlimited possibilities

Game designers are involved in each step of game mechanics, from the initial idea to the technical-creative conception and narration to the design of rooms and characters.

The Game Design degree programme at University of Europe for Applied Sciences (UE) teaches the development and creation of games. Students learn an overview of the economy, culture and markets surrounding the computer game industry. The programme specifically focuses in the areas of game design, game art and game programming, from AAA and indie games to experimental formats.

It’s no longer been a question of whether games and gamification have great potential for our society, but rather how and, above all, in which areas we can make better use of it in the future.

It’s about the independent conception and realisation of a demanding project. This is the best business card to present yourself optimally to the employer of your choice or future clients.

You might also like: More than just child’s play: the power of gamified learning


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