Researchers: Even violent video games can be learning tools

Panelists discussed how people learn and how games can be engineered to be even more educational.
Panelists discussed how people learn and how games can be engineered to be even more educational.

You’re at the front lines shooting Nazis before they shoot you. Or, you’re a futuristic gladiator in a death match with robots. Either way, you’re playing a video game—and you might be improving your vision and other brain functions, according to research presented May 27 at a New York University conference on games as a learning tool.

“People that play these fast-paced games have better vision, better attention, and better cognition,” said Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester.

Bavelier was a presenter at a daylong symposium on the educational uses of video and computer games from NYU’s Games for Learning Institute. The event was another indication that electronic games are gaining legitimacy in the classroom. (The University of Wisconsin-Madison also hosts an annual conference on educational gaming.)…Read More

Video game teaches students fiscal skills

High school and college students learn valuable financial lessons.
High school and college students learn valuable financial lessons.

A new video game designed to help New York students learn to manage their money tries to make the dullness of balancing a checkbook look more like the thrill of driving for a touchdown.

The game tests high school and college students’ fiscal skills in an online simulation based on the rules of the NFL. Students can score first downs, gain yardage, and score points by answering questions correctly. The level of difficulty varies, with questions like what to do when you run out of checks and the limits on an IRA.

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released the game, “Financial Football,” on Dec. 15. With the economy still shaky, it’s never too early to learn how to spend and save responsibly, he said.…Read More