This latest issue of CGM looks at how education and games aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. The perception of education has been changing a lot in recent years, and it’s no longer considered a simple matter of memorizing facts for a test, then disposing of that information once the test has been passed. Critical thinking, problem solving skills and the ability to analyze and improvise are all considered valuable tools, not just in learning, but as general skills for life management. All of these characteristics just happen to coincide with good gaming skills, as games themselves are essentially about presenting players with a problem that needs solving either through an application of analysis and reflexes, or a careful exercise in strategy, tactics and resource management.
As a result, the games of today have a far greater capacity to teach than many suspect. While simple arcade experiences still exist that ask for nothing more than “twitch” responses, more sophisticated games demand a level of engagement and interaction that stimulates many critical thought processes. Minecraft, for example, is not just modern day version of LEGO blocks that exists virtually; professional educators are now seeing in this game the massive potential for teaching youth the basics of programming, giving them the tools they need to learn the fundamentals of an important 21
This issue looks at the many ways that games are both an official tool for educators, as well as an aid at home that can continue the learning process. The issue also covers the importance of education in gaming itself. After all, with games becoming as complex, resource-intensive and financially successful as other entertainment industries like film, there’s got to be an efficient way to learn how to work within this industry. All this and more is in the latest issue of CGM.