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Addiction and Gaming

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

It’s no surprise that games are addictive and can be harmful to those who aren’t careful. However these platforms are prevalent in today's world and so we should be strategizing about how best to leverage games as a way to improve learning.

Pretty much all computer games are incredibly addictive. That’s what they are made for. Same with social media. The goal is to get you to spend as much time as possible on their platform. This can also be incredibly harmful, but there is something about the innate enjoyment people get from playing computer games that can also be leveraged.

Turning Games into Learning Opportunities

There are many ways that games can be used as learning opportunities, one of which is programming. This can either be used to customize games or to build your own games. You can learn very valuable programming concepts that can be applied outside of games but as the entertainment space is growing rapidly, there is more and more demand for developers in the gaming space. When using games as a way to motivate young people to learn programming it becomes exceptionally easy to keep them engaged and curious.

The only downside to consider is how much of that time is actually spent learning, and how valuable are the tools. In some cases learning to program only within a game will give you a very limited skill set in coding and the concepts you are learning aren’t applied outside of games, or that particular game which doesn’t provide much of a learning benefit.

Another way to turn games into learning opportunities is to come up with project ideas relating to the game to help improve engagement. Either writing an article about the game, writing a persuasive essay about why they should be able to play more of the game or why other kids should play the game as well. Then kids can also present their project learning public speaking, and other valuable skills like using interests to create valuable projects.

Games are also great to develop self control and discipline. A project that can be done is your own gaming schedule and trying to persuade your parents into allowing you to follow a gaming schedule decided by you. The benefit to this is you will be trying to maximize your game time as much as possible but you need to make sure that it isn’t something your parents find unreasonable. In this case you are learning discipline, and setting rules for yourself and learning responsibility.

Gamifying Learning

Learning platforms such as Khan Academy, DuoLingo and many mor