July 27, 2023

How Video Games Can Be Used to Solve Scientific Problems

Video games are not generally known for their real-world benefits, but that perception may be changing. Scientists are experimenting with new video game genres that let gamers with little or no scientific training confront science’s most pressing problems.

In one case, gamers solved a protein-folding puzzle that stumped scientists for 13 years. This book investigates how this knowledge emerges from gaming and its potential implications.

Game-based learning

When it comes to educational video games, you need to consider your goals for using them. Do you want to reinforce what students have learned, enrich them with new materials or intervene with students who are struggling? Once you know your goals, you can choose the best game for your needs. For example, if you’re teaching new material to your students, a game that includes teamwork could be the right choice.

The learning process in games is based on the principles of repetition, practice, and failure. Players start with basic levels and work their way up, learning along the way. They are encouraged to persist even in the face of failure and are often rewarded for their efforts with badges and levels. This approach cultivates an optimistic learning style that can be used throughout a student’s educational journey and beyond.

Another advantage of educational gaming is its ability to promote social-emotional skills. These include empathy and grit, both of which are important for success in the modern economy. Educational games also help children develop leadership skills and foster feelings of accomplishment by rewarding them with progress indicators, such as levels or badges.

Educational games are available in many formats, including virtual environments and augmented reality. Virtual environments create a simulated environment that resembles real-life settings, while augmented reality overlays a 3-D view of the world with computer-generated information. Both approaches allow students to interact with real-world situations and can be updated in a timely manner, unlike textbooks, which are typically years out of date by the time they reach the classroom.

Game-based research

The use of games for learning purposes has been around for a long time, and there are many different types of games. These include role-playing and adventure games, which provide immersive virtual environments in which players can become absorbed and engaged with the embedded science learning activities. However, there are few studies of the effects of game-based research on student scientific problem-solving skills.

To address this issue, Connolly et al. (2012) conducted a comprehensive review of empirical research on the use of serious games (SGs) in science education, which was published between 2002 and 2013. They used the SCI and SSCI databases to search for articles, and they included only those articles that had been reviewed by academic journals. They also used a specific coding scheme consisting of three major dimensions, including the game dimension, the pedagogy dimension and the research method dimension.

They found that the SGs had the potential to help students develop their conceptual understanding of science topics. In addition, they were able to facilitate specific abilities such as problem-solving and collaboration. Moreover, they can foster an intuitive understanding of scientific concepts through the interaction with an appropriate visual environment.

The study analyzed a total of 31 empirical studies related to SG-based science learning. They examined research samples, research design and implementation, game designs and purposes, and theoretical foundations and learning foci.

Game-based teaching

Game-based teaching is an innovative approach to classroom education. It uses games to engage students, increasing their retention of knowledge and improving their focus and concentration. It also promotes creativity and critical thinking, while fostering social-emotional learning.

This method of learning is particularly effective in teaching students how to solve problems. This is because the games are designed to be interactive and challenging, helping to develop their logic and decision making skills. In addition, these games are not just childish; they can be appropriate for a variety of age levels and interests. This is important, as teens can lose motivation if the game seems too childish.

The central theme of most video games, whether educational or not, is problem-solving. This is what draws people to play them and keeps them coming back. This is a perfect way to train students on how to tackle real-life problems, and it can be applied to any subject.

A study comparing the effectiveness of game-based learning to interactive lectures found that it was significantly more effective in promoting learning outcomes. The study involved a sample of adolescent patients and evaluated their knowledge acquisition, satisfaction, and enjoyment of both approaches. Despite some drawbacks, the study found that the use of game-based teaching can be an effective tool for classroom instruction. However, educators must be careful when using games in the classroom. They must ensure that the games they select and create are suitable for the specific goals of the class and that the learning objectives are clear and challenging.

Game-based assessment

Game-based assessment is a method of assessing candidates in a realistic work environment, often simulating real-life job examples. For example, a recruitment agency might ask a candidate to choose which of two photos most resemble their personality and work style, or it may simulate an interaction with customers in which candidates need to provide different responses to achieve the desired outcome. During this type of assessment, it is best to be authentic and keep calm. Attempting to fake or cheat will only cause a candidate’s score to drop and could be flagged as a red flag by the assessment provider.

The aim of game-based assessment is to make the assessment as unobtrusive as possible, keeping the player in a state of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). In addition, it must be able to assess multiple criteria at once. This can be done by using pre-existing games or creating a new video game for assessment purposes.

The potential for game-based assessment is huge. If the 3bn hours that gamers spend playing can be harnessed for science, laboratories around the world could have access to a powerful cognitive engine. However, the challenge is to design games that are engaging enough to attract and retain gamers for long periods of time. It also remains to be seen whether games can overcome the problems associated with high-stakes exam cultures, including a decline in classroom interactions and digital amnesia.

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