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Should video games be used in education? (Literature Review)

September 21, 2019

Over the last two decades, video games have increasingly become an essential part of the
ways of playing and learning. Video games provide an opportunity for fun and effective repetitive
practice for children. Traditional learning often fails to generate students' interest in what they
are studying in class. This lack of interest can result in ineffective learning as, in these cases,
students are simply performing in the classroom but do not acquire knowledge. Students need
special motivation, which can be provided by video games.

1. Video Games Can Improve Students’ Motivation

Video games can offer types of motivation such as competition, diversion, enjoyment,
fantasy, interest with game, social interaction, and application (Cianfrone, Zhang, & Jae Ko,
2011), as well as excitement, relaxation, and coping with anger (Olson, 2010). Additionally,
games may provide relationship, manipulation, immersion, escapism, and achievement types
of motivation (Yee, 2006), which may not exist in traditional learning methods
(Molins-Ruano et al., 2014). Video games provide extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and they
satisfy players’ psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness independently).
These needs as related to video games make students finish the activity as they are usually
technology-dependent students (Apostol, Zaharescu, & Alexe, 2013). Video games have the
possibility to teach both formal and informal academic and non-academic skills, and, as fun
tools, they motivate students to be more collaborative, promote social learning, share
information, and increase their achievements (Kebritch, Hirumi, & Bai, 2010).

2. Video Games Enhance Student-Centered Strategies

Video games enhance students’ cognitive skills, particularly with respect to problem solving
International Journal of Education and provide students with practical experience, which helps them understand the material better. Griffiths (2002) stated that “Some evidence suggests that important skills may be built or reinforced by video games. For example, spatial visualization ability (i.e., mentally rotating and manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects) improves with video game
playing” (p. 47).

3. Video Games Environments Can Provide Safe Learning Environments

Virtual and simulation video games provide safe real environments, which enables them to
decrease the time and money of training. Students do not have to go anywhere to try their
knowledge in practice. They have a perfect opportunity to apply knowledge in practice
without wasting time and financial resources. Such virtual training appears to be very useful
in certain fields of activity (Vaz de Carvalho, Lopes, & Ramos, 2014)

4. Video Games Help Students with Disabilities to Manage Their Behaviors

Video games have features that helped students with disabilities, and chronically-ill patients
acquire skills, manage their behavior and attention, and possibly more effective in increasing
the students’ physical activity through the use of exergaming and interactive video games
International Journal of Education (Cai & Kornspan, 2012). Also, video games were able to develop positive aspects of interactions, and mitigate isolation, particularly for hospitalized students (González-González, Toledo-Delgado, Collazos-Ordoñez, & González-Sánchez, 2014).


The conclusion can be made that, due to their useful features, video games can be considered a preferred technology at home. Video games increase extrinsic and intrinsic motivation,
satisfy players’ psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), and promote
collaboration, social learning, sharing of information, and increasing of attainments. In contrast to the traditional learning process, video games provide an interesting motivation. Video games evoke the feeling of strong emotional bonds with students’ experience in the classroom and increase the students’ physical activity. I believe that video games deserve to be integrated as a technology tool in the classroom. It does not mean that the traditional learning process should be significantly altered, but some changes should be implemented. The usual presentation of a new material can be accompanied by practical tasks in the form of a video game. Certainly, video games should be used in moderation, but should not be completely excluded from the learning process. In spite of the fact that teachers’ attitudes indicated the lack of video game experience and the existence of a generation gap, the appropriate training in use of video games will make them change their attitude and start using video games in class.

Cianfrone, B. A., Zhang, J. J., & Jae Ko, Y. (2011). Dimensions of motivation associated
with playing sport video games: Modification and extension of the Sports Video Game
Motivation Scale. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 1(2),
172-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/20426781111146763
González-González, C., Toledo-Delgado, P., Collazos-Ordoñez, C., & González-Sánchez, J.
L. (2014). Design and analysis of collaborative interactions in social educational video
games. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 602-611.
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