During the previous years, video games were designed for a very specific part of the global population. The great advances in technology during the previous decade, the development of the internet, social networks, smartphones and tablets lead to an even greater development in casual gaming. Video games did grow in order to include different target groups. Video games like Wii Fit, Kinectimals or PiBot: Math & Action are not designed for hardcore gamers. This development of video games had a positive impact on educational video game design, since a bigger set of resources was invested by industries and public institutions.
The way video games do evolve changes the habits of potential gamers. According to a 2013 report of Casual Connect 75% of gamers, who are also parents, engage in video gaming activities with their kids, especially on consoles. In 2013, active players were estimated to be around 207 million. This makes video games a great means of communication and a great tool for educational purposes.
Video games can motivate students to learn
Video games are a very interesting educational tool, for both the industry and academia, because they create intrinsically motivating experiences and increase motivation for learning. Video games support active learning and can be used as tools for motivating students to work on specific learning fields. Through a gamified environment, students can spend more time on learning activities, which could be related to the teaching of mathematics, physics, languages etc. Besides this, the use of innovative interfaces and controls, like Microsoft Kinect and Wii Remote could support the existence of educational environments that combine physical exercise with learning tools (exergames).
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By George Kalmpourtzis – Lead Educational Games Designer