‘Minecraft’ and Other Video Games Could be the Future of Learning
I bet most of you have heard your parents say how video games would ruin your education and are just a waste of time, but new research suggests that video games can actually make people smarter. This is not the first time people have suggested that video games, even those not meant to be educational, can assist with learning. But as time goes on, there only seems to be more evidence that video games can be a real asset to a child’s (or adult’s) intellectual capability.
According to a recent article, a study by S.R.I International found that video games can increase a student’s learning ability by 12%, as well as increasing problem-solving ability, hand-eye coordination, and memory.
There is also new research on the popular game Minecraft, which lets users create anything from simple structures to complex worlds using cube-shaped blocks. According to a study that was conducted by MIT (PDF), The building activity of Minecraft can improve spatial, logical and reasoning skills in children (much like building with actual, physical blocks can). Normally this kind of skills tested by specially formed aptitude tests like logical reasoning.
In addition to block-building structures, there is the potential to create virtual circuitry in Minecraft, which can be used to create complicated working machinery. It’s not news that building things in the real world can help a child’s mind develop, but this is some of the first proof that building virtual things in a video game can have the same educational effect.
While video games in general have shown to have a positive effect on people, there is a special kind of benefit with games like Minecraft that allow players to create anything they can imagine, without any strict goal or objective and no way to ‘win’ the game. By having unlimited possibilities, Minecraft encourages players to develop creative thinking skills, to gain knowledge of engineering, and to become independent thinkers.
It’s no wonder that video games, especially those that allow for a free-thinking creative environment, are wildly popular. And as it is becoming increasingly clear, the decision to play more games could be the best decision you can make for a smarter brain. Tell that to the next person who says you’re wasting your time.
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