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Video games and education: How my daughter learns math with an MMORPG.

Kia ora Geek friends! I hope they are as good as me (or why not better!). You know The other day they sent us from my baby's school, a paper with several interesting things. Or there were interesting to me for being a thirties who are surprised with these things. I tell you!
On that note they had sent, there were several web applications for educational use. Among all of them, there was one that caught my attention. It was a 2D MMORPG, childish, safe, but it introduced a couple of interesting concepts for intellectual development kiddos. In the game, which is run in the same browser where you browse, you were met by classmates who have access to that same instance and several mobs that are swarming around. So far nothing particularly crazy, right? I mean ... what does an online role-playing game have to do with learning things from school? Well, here comes the twist: In the fights, which are turn based, children have to solve mathematical and logical operations of difficulty according to the lvl to be able to cast the magic or perform skills.

Not only that, but I, as a father, have a follow-up control panel in which I put scores that have to be achieved for me to send chests with loot, full of aesthetic goodies. I thought it was an incredibly interesting concept, teaching that kind of thing through video games. That's when I noticed that, in reality, there are many video games that teach from programming patterns, to object physics and logic. Before continuing, I tell you which is the application I was talking about at the beginning  https://www.prodigygame.com


When we start thinking about video games and how they impact children, the media bombardment that says they are harmful for the brains of the youngest ones usually comes to mind. Currently there is nothing to prove that this is so, more than the parents' own laziness that let children play titles that are not for their ages (there is a videogame rating system, did you know Papi?). On the contrary, there are many titles that teach many very valuable things to children, without entering into philosophical or soft issues such as "the value of friendship" or "overcoming adversity with a Master Sword." And that is what I want to talk about in this note, about something I have seen being called Edurtaiment. What a pun bro!

Video games that educate: they exist AND you know them!

A game that every parent feels a pain in the neck just by hearing its name: Minecraft. There is a reason why it is so popular among the little ones. It is, on the one hand, like having a digital lego with infinite pieces and, on the other hand, learning about circuits with the holy Redstone and the necessary mathematics to know how many of each thing is needed to build something. Have you seen the amazing things that the most dedicated users did? From calculators to incredible lever and bizarre systems that, despite the fact that many seem like a peek, leave valuable lessons in logic and interpretation of connections in the middle. Look at this top 10 of inventions with RedStone:



Another more current example is the genius invention the Nintendo Labo is. For those who are not very aware, these are cardboard constructions that are assembled and, through ingenious infrared systems (did you know that the Joycon of the Switch have infrared? I found out with this!) And pulleys we will be able to handle on-screen robots, create musical instruments and much more! In fact, it comes with a way in which we leave the proposals that the game makes us and create our own games, following programming patterns and, again, logic that I am sure that they will be a good plus in the world that awaits them.


 Just as these examples are more on the side of programming, mathematics and logic, there is also the reality that video games teach English like nobody else. I don't say it to say, I learned English playing Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross and Legend of Dragoon among many others. Not being able to move forward with the story in a JRPG, asking yourself what the quests are about or what the skills you are throwing do! When the online gaming started, talking with Americans greatly improved my pronunciation and understanding of "slang" or dialects that are handled in English-speaking countries.

We also have other cases, out there for bigger ones, in which the games narrate historical facts or focus on a specific era with documentary-worthy precision. See the case but of Assassins Creed Origins and how they hired archaeologists and historians to make the representation of Egypt in their posthumous years of the era of pharaohs in the most reliable way possible. Moreover, there is a version in which there are no enemies or dangers and we simply go through graves, temples and villages seeing every little detail of what life was like back then.

Just like these games that I mention there are several more that I left out, especially some Indies focused on teaching programming, but I did not want to extend so much!br />
And what do you think about this? Do you have children? Have you seen them learn useful things from video games? If they don't have purretes ... do they plan to include video games as something complementary in their education? Leave your comments below!
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