What if We Taught Only Through Games?

I was thinking about this while reading the Immune Attack article.

It’s interesting that we’re trying to make education fun and more like video games.  Perhaps in the future, when researchers learn new information, the information will follow a procedure where it’s made more understandable to other researchers in the field, while simultaneously being digested and integrated into existing information in order to make a (likely incomprehensible) text about the information. Later will come the comprehensible text (like Griffiths, a fantastically readable textbook introduction to electrodynamics), but perhaps at the same time, or a little bit later, there will be a game developed that teaches the information. While it’ll always be important to have texts for reference, maybe the majority of learning for students will at some point come entirely from realistic, yet stimulating games. Of course at some stage in a students education (maybe by the end of undergrad), the student would “catch up” to the digestion of the knowledge, and no longer be able to learn from games (because the complexity/newness of the information hasn’t be transformed to a game yet). At this point they would have to rely solely on texts and articles. How the student would be able to handle this is anyone’s guess. And later yet, the student will have to get a job, or do research, which will be nothing like a game. How will the students motivate themselves then? How competent will they be if they have to interact, develop, and learn with mediums other than games? I think this is somewhat analogous to what happens in late elementary school, or late middle school, when concepts aren’t taught as inventively and interactively, and you see fewer students interested in learning.

I guess this is my main concern with the idea that it would be wonderful if we could hook kids to science, or academics, by using video games. The problem of what happens when kids realize the real world isn’t a video game, and it’s not always so easy to engage oneself. Of course, this is likely a long time away, and some fix will probably come up before it ever happens. As for now, we should keep trying to make learning more engaging, because it’s just going to complement our traditional learning techniques in the near future. And that’s not bad at all.


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