Videogames could be just what your students need
We imagine that a number of your students will be finding the extra time spent at home a great chance to immerse themselves in gameplay, either as a way of connecting with others or entering the ‘flow state’ where everyday worries just fall away. In fact, the ability for gameplay to boost well-being and create feelings of connection during this period of social distancing has been recognised by the World Health Organisation.
When Dr Colleen Stieler-Hunt visited us last year for the Education in Games Summit, she highlighted how games and gameplay can foster empathy and social engagement. Similarly, the psychosocial benefits for those of your students who are playing games should not be underestimated. It has also been well-documented that online games can help build a sense of community.
Learning with games
You may find that parents and carers supervising learning from home share their concerns about their children’s gameplay or screen time in general. They can be reassured about the multiple educational benefits -- including improved academic results -- of playing videogames, and might benefit from some gameplay themselves.
It can be great to ask students to think analytically about their game play, and we have the perfect lesson for scaffolding this approach. (You can tweak it for other kinds of games, if some class members are not gamers.) The availability of Minecraft Education edition opens up a world of learning. We love the Hour of Code activities which include both online and offline Minecraft coding tutorials.
Videogames are more diverse than almost any other form of cultural expression. Played across multiple platforms, they offer a seemingly endless range of themes, stories and gameplay. If you would like a rundown of the best videogames to recommend to your students, you will find this annotated list helpful and illuminating.
ACMI is ahead of the game
ACMI has always championed the creativity and design that goes into making videogames as well as the interactivity, skill and participatory energy that make playing games so much fun. We have also been at the forefront of research and practice around the educational potential of games. With that in mind, we are looking forward to sharing -- later this year -- the resources we are building in collaboration with teachers as part of our Game Lessons project. The lessons are cross-curricular and have simplicity and ease of use at the forefront of their design.
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