June 11th, 2013 E-Learning


Educational games are increasing in popularity in both educational and corporate settings.  There are inherent benefits to gaming when it comes to learning, but we are starting to see that gaming is also proving to be beneficial beyond just a learning environment.  Gaming is also being used in therapy across many different disciplines.

To demonstrate the power gaming can have over the human mind, let’s take a look at a powerful example.  Recently, the benefits of gaming on mental stimulation was used on a U.S. marine burn victim who was undergoing surgery for his wounds.  During his operation, the victim played a game called SnowWorld that put him into a 3D snowball fight. With the game, he thought about the pain less than 25% off the time. Without the game, he thought about the pain 75% of the time.

This example demonstrates that gaming has a profound impact on cognitive abilities, which is the primary reason why we are seeing games supplement elearning today.  Games also foster social environments.  One study found that 65% of people playing games play with a friend present.  The entire concept of a game often involves multiple parties – a perfect asset for companies and educational institutions to leverage.

Speaking of which, within an educational environment, video games have been shown to improve early literacy in four and five year olds, especially when it comes to comprehension and letter recognition.  In a corporate setting, more than 100 Fortune 500 companies have adopted gaming for training purposes. Heck, even surgeons who actively game were reportedly 27% faster at procedure and made 37% fewer errors compared to those who did not.

The proof is there when it comes to gaming and the positive impacts it can have on our brains, learning comprehension, and translating that learning into real behaviors.  If you don’t have some sort of gaming infused in your learning or LMS, then you are missing a big opportunity to improve upon your learning effectiveness.





Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


8 responses

Leave a Comment

By co-incidence, the folks at Open Learning at the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia (a Tier 1 Research Uni), have today announced a free short course that is very much along the lines of this blog post. See below link for details:

You will notice the use of Xtra Normal etc. in the promo video.

The educational benefits of gaming are very interesting. Are you aware of any good tools to easily produce games?

Games have always been a major part of my 45-year teaching strategy. I consider myself the Mnemonic King of the World, but mnemonics is only one small part of my gamesmanship. If I needed to thank anybody for helping me to offer students learning through games it would be the wonderful teacher who started Scholastic Scope Magazine and Company. That New York company is a giant in encouraging kids to learn through fun materials.

Avatar Kenny Russ Warren

Sorry, I am in the midst of publishing a novel and wish to use my pen name ‘Kenny Russ Warren’ hitherto. Novel should be available in e-book form in a couple of weeks and print book form by Aug/Sept.

Avatar Kenneth Russell Warren

How come my picture isn’t coming up with my replies?

Avatar Ken Warren

Interesting post,I can see crossover with the work of Jayne Gackenbach who focussed on impact of gameplay on the mind. Recommend her podcasts Video Games Brain gain or drain as there is interesting practical application of sensory transfer through gameplay. I wonder the implications of desensitisation which are commonly seen as negative could have similar beneficial psychological application in trauma management, focussing senses away from damage and towards immersive distraction.

Avatar Jim Harris

Your article covers a lot of ground, but it misses the effects of games on cognitive abilities. This generation of kids who are growing up playing games on iPads are probably undergoing a new step in human evolution.

I’m piloting- and loving- having students teach themselves by flipping the classroom, and the gaming element is very important. We use a platform for kids called Nanoogo to have the kids make “posts” on what they are learning, and the fact that they earn points keeps many very motivated. It’s a great tool to recognize effort and hard work. Any behavior we want to encourage, we tie to some sort of recognition. Even self-motivated learners like to have their work recognized. I think it’s an important step in a new paradigm of learning.

Avatar Laura Willson

Comments are closed.

Your course could already be online!

We offer a 15 day money-back guarantee and have a world class community to help you get your course online today!

See LearnDash in action. Online Demo


👋 Meet LearnDash Webinar

Are you trying to decide if LearnDash is the right learning management system to build your online courses? Join us for our next live walkthrough.

Join Our Next Webinar!

LearnDash webinars are designed to teach you how to build, grow, and scale your course-building business. Join our team in one of our next live webinars.