Here is the definition of the game from Wiki: “a game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool”. And a video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor.” In my view, the meaning of these terms at least two points: First, the game can be regarded as an educational tool; secondly, interaction is an indispensable and even the most important part of the game. In other words, playing games is also a kind of “learning by doing”.
Mark Carnes’ ideas about “active-learning” are very interesting. Essentially, I think the learning style that he describes is role-playing. During the gaming process, students need to actively collect materials and build a world of their own and this adventure is of course exciting. However, what I want to emphasize is that games in education are still at an experimental stage. Two and a half hours of the schedule per week may not be able to adapt; on the other hand, the time and energy that students spend on it will inevitably increase dramatically. Can the games in education improve the graduation rate problem at the universities? I also have deep doubts about this because the education evaluation system still uses credits and grades as the key criteria. If these fundamental factors do not change, then this model will be difficult to promote.
Personally, I have a positive attitude towards games, including video games. As a student majoring in public administration and political science, I learned about the operation of the government in Western countries including the United States through a game called “Democracy 3” before I came to the United States. It is considered as a sophisticated political strategy game which has a unique user interface that makes visualizing the connections between laws, policies, voters, and situations easy. I must say that I learned more about the US politics from this game than I learned from the boring textbooks. Other examples include “Minecraft”, my nephew in elementary school really likes the open world of this game. The game developer, Microsoft has already treated Minecraft as “a collaborative and versatile platform that educators can use across subjects to encourage 21st-century skills”. Other games, such as League of Legends and Dota2, have higher requirements for teamwork. With the development of AR and VR technology, I am optimistic that games can break the boundaries of the classroom and play an increasingly important role in education.
The game UI of “Democracy 3”