Digital Games And Kids – A Different Perspective
"Wikipedia problem" or the "Wikipedia problem" which means children looking online for pre-made solutions is a new phenomenon baffling teachers and their mentors across the world. There's a large majority of teachers who believe technology to be both a solution and a problem. While the majority of people believe that technology has a negative impact on students' ability to think and reflect but there is also some who are in favour of video games and digital gadgets' ability to engage students and enhance learning by employing more than one of the sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concerns about decreasing attention spans of students, institutions are incorporating games into teaching in the classroom. Children are naturally curious creatures. They have a curiosity to find new things, and gain knowledge by doing experiments and exploring before they are taught methods of formal education such as writing or reading. Science is a subject that involves research and discoveries. Science is the study of discoveries and experimentation. National Science Education Standards emphasize that "science education needs to give students three types of understandings and scientific skills. Students should be able to grasp the concepts and theories of science, master the reasoning and procedural skills required by scientists, and comprehend the fundamentals of science as a particular form of human endeavor. Students therefore need to be able to design game guides and carry out investigations that examine their theories, and they need to understand why such research is extremely effective. Research shows that students are much more likely to comprehend and retain the concepts that they've learned this way ". Hence, it becomes imperative to encourage children to participate in science learning at an early stage. Digital games are able to gain students' interests and attention than conventional methods of imparting knowledge in the classroom. However, some educationalists consider them to be the cause of an increasing declines in attention span in children. The subsequent sections in this article explore the role of children in games in the tech age, types of games available on the market , and the effects of games that are digital as learning aids in classrooms. Gaming, and New Age Kids Digital technology has opened up new possibilities of video gaming in our modern age. Children are exposed to a more complex and challenging technology environments than their peers more than a half century ago. Involvement of children in online games is the result of numerous significant changes in the culture and lifestyle of the contemporary society. The ease of access to technology, the loss of income because of families with dual incomes and the absence of facilities for outdoor activities in many cities are a few of the major reasons in making games on screens an essential part of children's' lives. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) found that only 20 percent of Census blocks lie within a half mile of a boundary. Also, the effect of peer pressure is not diminished in the age of social media. The digital gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the entertainment industry worldwide. US is witnessing an unprecedented growth of games played online among children. In the US, 97% of teenagers play at least one type of game frequently. In India the market for gaming has increased exponentially in the past few years. This is why it is crucial that educators are constantly thinking about the possibility of using digital games as a teaching tool in the classroom. Institutions are also experimenting with innovative methods to take advantage of the digital advantages to enhance the learning experience of students. What is Digital Games? There isn't a definitive definition of what games are, since they will vary based on the player's preferences and work. Game definitions can be described as a "system that involves players in artificial conflict, governed by rules, that result in a quantifiable result". Digital technology and technology add new dimensions to games where simulations, interactivity, augmented reality alternate reality and collective intelligence are added along with auditory stimuli like sound and visual effects. The digital games also are distinguished by their portability and limitless accessibility. Role-playing , simulation games and puzzles are among the most well-known digital games. In role-playing , players take on the role of an individual character in a digital world and moves from one stage to the other based on what happened in the previous level. RPGs can be played as a single player like the dungeons and dragons from the early days of gaming, or multi-player ones like Diablo III, Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Mass Effect 3. MMORPGs, or the Massive Multiple Online Role-Playing Games are an extension of RPGs that allow a lot of players play with each other in a virtual world. Simulation games simulate real-life situations that simulate real-world situations. The outcome will depend on the player's decisions and responsiveness and will closely resemble what happens in the real world situation. A lot of people use simulation games for research and training, simulation games are popular because of their unpredictable and personalized outcomes. Flight Simulator X, Live for Speed (LFS) and Need for Speed have been very popular games for simulations for a long time. The puzzle genre of digital gaming involves problems solving and analysis, with varying degrees of difficulty depending what the particular game is. The treasure hunt and crossword games are basic forms of puzzle games in both digital and physical form. The majority of games require the participation of social players. Some require a team effort to play while some may be discussed or analysed socially. Despite some games being accused of having violent visual effects the right game design can accelerate the thinking process by stimulating, engaging, involving creativity and developing an underlying meta-game i.e., social interactions that are enhanced and inspired whether in or out of the game. Incorporating digital gaming in the framework of education can result in increased competitiveness and multi-dimensional development in children. Digital Games in Science Education - Why and Why Not? The 21st century requires the educators and students to incorporate technology into the classroom. While the main goal is to benefit the students in terms of learning and experiences, unsupervised and unplanned applications can result in total loss or negative results. The negative consequences of digital games in general and when viewed in relation to education of students are as follows:
  • Digital games are subject to constant rebuke for allegedly enhancing aggression amongst kids and developing a violent streak when they are young. In a study of Anderson And Bushman (2001) The study found that children involved in violence-inducing video games tend to be more aggressive in their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and decreased prosocial assistance. Use of weapons and getting rewarded for violence is a cause of widespread concern.
  • Digital games may be addictive for kids, making them physically inactive. Digital games, other than social media, are believed to be responsible to be a source of reduced physical activity that can lead to obesity in kids and the development of skeletal and postural disorders.
  • The addiction to games is known to make kids feel isolated and socially isolated. Insane behavior, depression and higher levels of anxiety are generally attributed to gaming among children. Certain studies suggest that children who play games can't focus for a long span and are less attentive.
  • Children are prone to absorbing unacceptable behavior from social media, for example digital games such as using profanities or ill-treating the fairer sexually. The lack of understanding about reviewing the online content is becoming a major concern for the parents.
  • Digital games are seen as an obstacle to better performance in academics. Many students avoid homework in order to play games, which can lead to poor performance at school. However, despite their reputation for being violent and causing destruction, the use of digital games has actually been proven to aid in the development of children's skills, content, and vital "21st-century" capabilities. Through digital games, children learn: contents (from an extensive vocabulary, to science and history), skills (from literacy to math to more complex problem-solving) as well as the making of documents (from the video to programming code) Systems thinking (how altering one aspect affects interactions in general). Strong arguments in favor of using digital games as learning aids in secondary school are listed below:
  • Digital games require a lot of hand-eye coordination and enhance sensorimotor and motor skills. Sensory stimulation theory developed by academician Laird (1985) confirms that effective learning happens when sensors are activated. While some studies show that playing games online reduces your attention span, there are strong evidence of enhanced concentration within short intervals of time. Digital games involve keeping the eye on every aspect while adhering to the rules and take a proactive approach to the circumstances. Complex digital games help is the development of problem-solving skills and decision-making. Certain games require thinking about the situation and pattern recognition . They also aid in learning, thus aiding in the cognitive process. Playing by the rules teaches children to accept and respect a certain level of discipline.

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