Are Games Better Than Life?

This post is a reaction to the video below as part of a Rezzly quest that I am doing in order to better understand the platform and mindset the teach a gamified class.

I really connected with this video for a number of reasons. I grew up playing video games and I find that my students are increasingly geared towards games. One of my best tools for building a relationship with my students is talking about games with them. Sure it doesn’t hit everyone, but for those that do connect, it builds an instant rapport. Games are fun, and escape, and a way to extend yourself beyond normal human abilities.

The student video that was shown about halfway through the talk really hit home. I’m a bit younger than the student who made it but everything connected with me. Games are their own version of reality. But unlike reality they free us from so many of the things that make living difficult. In my Boise State time was able to get some ideas about games and education. I have begun to introduce games into my lessons and the feedback, quality of learning, and student response has been so much more than what my lessons were like before I allowed the students to “play” games.

I have used games to help me teach basic engineering statistics to my students. At the end of one lesson one of my students told me, “that was the best lesson ever.” Other than the warm and fuzzy feelings, I was able to see my students connect with the content in a new way. I compared my quiz and test scores on the engineering statistics section of the class before and after introducing gaming and I have found a large increase in the scores of my students who played games. I love that my students were engaged (my classroom has never be quieter than when students are gaming) but I also have data to show that they are getting more from the experience. And that’s what this is all about after all, isn’t it?





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