Video Games: Future teachers or distractors? ANDREW DE LEON (100518293), JAVERIA KHAN (100610576), MUHAMMAD RAJPUT (100488643), ALIA RAMJOHN (100195792), BRIAN SABOE (100495942), MIKKO SEPPALA (100634804)


Video games were considered to be as time wasters, and parents hated them. However, now we know that video games improve teamwork, coordination, and communication skills. So how do we balance video games with offline interactions?


Daphne Bavelier works as a professor at the University of Geneva. She studies cognitive neuroscience. In her Ted-talk, she debunks a lot of myths about video games, such as: video games weaken the eyes, and cause greater distractibility. Not only are these false myths, but she goes on to talk about the advantages of video games as well.


Teenagers and young adult play video games in their free time so that they may enjoy life. What they do not realize is that playing these video games also enhances their brain in a way which benefits them in the classroom. For example, playing CSO, WOW, or LOL, all require a heavy amount of teamwork. You must coordinate with your team members as to what is to be done, when to do what and how. All this build's one's teamwork skills. It also teaches a person to be patient with those players who are not as capable as them. Bringing this to the classroom makes a student much more likely to do well on a group assignment. Here are some advantages of gaming based on scientific research which has been conducted:

  • Games increase people’s performance on psychological tests. (Wenderoth, 2013)
  • Gamers have a raise in areas of the brain which are responsible for memory formation, strategic planning, and motor skills. (Kurzweil AI, 2013)
  • Gaming also slows the degree of mental decay in a person. (Chow, 2013)
  • It also improves reading skills. (Franceschini et al., 2013)
  • Games also help in reducing anxiety. (George, 2010)
  • They also provide a boost in contrast sensitivity in the eye. (Handwerk, 2009)

However, it is not all good. Playing too much video games may make a person an addict. An addict video gamer may choose to spend more time playing games and less time doing their school work. This distraction may therefore lead to poor performance in tests and examinations. Hence, as a solution to balance both gaming and work, parents should pose time restrictions so that their children may not take an overdose of gaming. When children grow up to become young adults, parents have a little control over how much they play. Hence, if they are raised with a limited number of gaming hours, they are more likely to continue that way. Also, when teenagers get devices like Phones and PSP, it has hard to control the time they play on it. So instead of taking it away from them, parents should rather teach their teenagers and young adult children the importance of spending time doing other things as well, like playing sports, and reading. This way they will grow up to be more responsible.

  • Games can often confuse reality and fantasy
  • Gaming may cause isolation from others, anxiety and depression (Zamani et al., 2009)
  • Positive attitude against violence, making the person more aggressive or hostile (Prot et al., 2014)
  • Increase in chronic diseases (E.g., Diabetes, back or neck pain or even a heart failure) (Zamani et al., 2009)
  • In some cases it may cause weight loss or sleep deprivation (Good, 2012)
  • Negative patterns from gaming (e.g., smoking, sexism) (Deskins, 2015)



  • Implement Gamification in school curricula. Gamification brings the elements and principles of video games into classrooms. (Coursera, 2017)
  • Gamification makes learning fun, gives instant feedback, increases motivation and can be applied for most learning needs. (Pandley, 2015; Rimo, 2016)
  • Gamification can be made fun and enjoyable. Assignments can be turned into quests or challenges and you may earn experience through certain tasks. Gaining experience could increase your progress on your progress bar and make you level up. Types of rewards could also be points, achievement badges or providing the user with virtual currency. (Kolb, 2015; Wikipedia, 2017)
  • Students may reach further than grade A. It’s all about getting experience through assignments and getting on a leaderboard. Therefore, making student focus away from X points = grade A and more on skill mastery. (Kolb, 2015)
  • Students could become co-creators by allowing them to design the games they will play. Teachers can work with each student to create a game that helps them learn best. (Top Hat Monocle Inc, 2014)
  • This will ensure that the games are tailored to the individual learner's’ capabilities and imparts empowerment to the learners through a sense of ownership. Students will be able to engage better since they will be more interested. (Top Hat Monocle Inc, 2014)
  • Gamify homework to encourage informal learning. Learning does not happen only inside of classrooms, it happens wherever the child is able to. Designing games for backing up classroom learning could encourage learning to continue. (Suzanne, 2013)
  • Students can use time outside of school to learn in different contexts of their lives. This opens up the experience, allowing families, friends and even classmates to be part of the learning that happens. (Suzanne, 2013)

Virtual Reality (VR)

  • Allows the users fully get immersed in a 3D world of their choosing. For example, a class could go for a virtual trip and visit the Mars or Ancient Civilizations. (Reede & Bailiff, 2016)
  • Learning opportunities are notably enriched through interaction with dimensional objects, animals and environments. (Reede & Bailiff, 2016)
  • Human brain tends to remember 10% of what it reads, 20% of what it hears but 90% of what it does or simulates. (Unimersiv, 2015)
  • 15 minutes of virtual reality experience is worth same as a 1h 30min documentary. (Unimersiv, 2015)

Educational Games

  • Video games attract participation by individuals across many demographic boundaries. (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, educational status) (Griffiths, 2002)
  • Games can be used to set goals and ensuring those goals are rehearsed. Games will provide the users feedback and reinforcing them. (Griffiths, 2002)
  • They are fun and stimulating, making users curious and challenge themselves. (Griffiths, 2002)
  • Makes users excited, therefore increasing motivation. (Griffiths, 2002)
  • Game-based learning can keep students interested in less popular subjects, such as math, and can even broaden their focus beyond just collecting stars or points. (NYU, 2013)
  • In the long run may create independent and self-determined learners. (NYU, 2013)

Learning How to Program


For this media assignment we will consider the implementation of Gamification into classrooms. We will tell you more about what is Gamification and how to implement it by giving a step by step instructions how Gamification may be brought into the classrooms and their environs. In addition, we will give you some pros and cons of Gamification and gather up some feedback from instructors who are already using Gamification in their classrooms. We see that there's a great balance between video games and offline interactions in Gamification.


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