Edutainment: Both Educational and Fun

Edutainment: Both Educational and Fun

July 8th every year marks video game day! Telling a parent that there actually exists a special day to celebrate the existence of video games is almost like saying that mankind should keep aside one day to commemorate the day kids got their brains scrambled! Believe it or not, not all video games are evil technological advancements that promise to replace budding minds with clouds of fuzz. There exists a stockpot of video games that actually aid children’s cognitive skills, keep them active and fight against obesity, improve knowledge and provide expertise on diverse subject matters.

Children today spend most of their time with their eyes glued to computers, television screens and handheld devices. And parents are bound to worry that their kids are just wasting precious time. However, studies have shown that video games – especially those that involve math problems, or word games – instill much-needed valuable skills as well as improve visual and spatial skills. The best part is that when this learning is disguised under a pretext of having fun, and infuriating the parents at the same time, kids are more susceptible to subconsciously developing their logical and reasoning skills, as well as gaining information. This is known as ‘edutainment’, or a healthy brew of education and entertainment.

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Most video games today help kids in improving their creativity and social skills by interacting with other players all over the world. For instance, one of the major video games trending right now is Civilization. This game encourages kids to engage in planning, strategy, exploration and diplomacy as they set out building their ideal society from scratch. From planning cities to building banks, universities and factories, children are motivated to answer self-assessing questions like – Do they want to create a nation of conquerors? Or a peaceful and just nation that focuses on culture or perhaps sustainability?

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civilization video game

PhotoCredit: http://www.civilization.com/en/news/ 

Genre-specific games like Endless Ocean: Blue World cater to a child’s precise interest. In this case, marine life. Little sailors can explore the underworld with a brilliant scientist and a headstrong diver who will educate them on sea life and aquatic habits.

endless ocean blue world

Photo Credit: www.destructoid.com

Kids who are diehard loyalists of certain animated characters can rummage through series of video games that revolve solely around those specific cartoons. For instance, the Dora The Explorer series where children can join Dora on an adventure that involves problem-solving, vocabulary-building and oodles of silly fun! The game ups the cool factor by allowing children to interact directly with the game’s characters.

And then of course are the games that don’t attempt to hide their life’s purpose – to deliver knowledge. The Big Brain Academy is a no-nonsense video game that promises to develop logic, math, analysis and memory skills. The game ends with measuring your ‘brain weight’. The more you play and solve problems, the heavier your brain gets!

big brain academy edutainment

Photo Credit: www.ign.com

Studies have shown that children spend an average of over 23 hours per week watching television, browsing the internet and playing video games. And this may not necessarily be a bad thing. The trick is to zero in on your child’s interest and channel it in a way that he/she finds interesting and exciting. After all, a medium of education that promises to sneakily make kids smarter can’t be all that bad, can it?

What edutainment video games do you have your children play? Leave your comments below!

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