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.