Why Those Video Games Aren’t Rotting Your Child’s Brain
Games, in a general form, are as old as contemporary society. Across the globe civilizations like the Greeks, Babylonians, and the Chinese empire created games and used them as critical parts of how they acquired new information, related to other people, and developed strategies. In recent developments, there’s been a marked effort to increase children’s interest in “gamified learning,” which is merely a vocabulary dense way of saying the developers attempting to hone the results of games. Interestingly, they’re targeting finance skills rather than simple arithmetic and the like.
As a world society, we’ve always relied on games to teach children simplistic skills. In fact, prehistoric dice games may have even employed similar tactics to teach them critical thinking and even the concepts of finances. Developers aren’t looking to reinvent Monopoly or Life though, as they’ve already managed to nestle into the longevity that will rival most other games. The gamified learning game developers are focusing on now is honed to analyze and improve emotional intelligence when investing while still trying to associate positive feelings with the abhorrent boring finance. So, is it really a crime that your child wants to spend a large portion of their day with their noses buried deep in their DS instead of a book? Perhaps not.
Games Are Coded into Our Biology
The appreciation we all have for games is essentially stemming from our biological human nature. Before we were the civilized, ultra-advanced beings we are today, we were just grungy hunter-gathers. At one point we hadn’t figured out agriculture or our places in society yet, because the closest sense of order we had was based on a very simple structured routine. As we’ve stated previously, one way for these humans to learn was to play games with each other. What these games created was a 2000-year-old process in our brain that we still follow. Essentially, we’d discover new information through absorption, then synthesis and finally thorough analysis. This pattern was repeated so much when learning simplistic games that’s it’s actually how the human brain learns anything now. As humans edged away from the hunter-gatherer method they started developing schedules, and the most important thing for survival was to learn what had to be done to get the crop. The industrial revolution exasperated this problem and created a schooling system that merely values routine and memorization rather than strategy analysis.
If you look back on the educational style of the Greeks, you’ll notice philosophy and free-thinking were encouraged and it made learning fun. What this translates into in the modern era is still being analyzed and rephrased, but the general idea is that education can both instill an appreciation for academic pursuits and make them seem fun. If it’s an interesting topic, there’s more of a chance that you can make a game out of it, rather than just following with the model that rose during the Industrial Revolution. Gamified learning intends to bring the focus back to an understanding of finance, one of the most important skills you can gain from an early age. Antiquated learning models resulted in people who knew more auxiliary information but lacked in financial savvy.
To see a prime example of this fact all you need to do is look to the Baby Boomer generation. They were educated under a model that valued memorizing facts over critical analysis of the world and one that entirely shirked finance as a possible skill they’d need in the future. The Baby Boomers are, consequently, unprepared for retirement and have little understanding of why their first house was so much cheaper than properties are now. In fact, the average household ranging in age between 51 and 65 only has around 200K saved up for their inevitable retirement from the workforce. While some may say that this was due to other financial factors and the economy over the years, many still maintain that a lack of emphasis on simple money management and critical thinking resulted in a generation that is ill-equipped for real life. In fact, mostly professors and professional financial advisors believe that people from that generation and some other generations are simply financially ill-informed. Thus, teams of techies and financial scholars are ganging up to attempt to gamify the entire industry and make it a notable point of interest for children so that the financial world of tomorrow isn’t disadvantaged by the uninformed. This is merely an intelligent way to play off the fact that most learning and intellectual building today stems from mobile tech and video games.
Scholarly pursuits are fascinating and fun. But lighting the progress of a day full of academia can only serve to be a fresh start, especially since the gamification of a crucial subject like finance education is in the works to spread across the states and enlighten the next generation. In fact, the new gamification of finance is specifically fashioned to tap into our biological learning process that the hunter-gatherer tribes were using at the beginning of humankind.
The Structure of the Game
While playing, children will be able to make adjustments while gaining skills by increasing their “experience” or “power.” Like most curriculum now, technology is a major portion of it as it’s important to put an emphasis on tech since it’s a major part of being a productive member of the workforce in our day and age. With tech, the finance games are doing the same thing as other games in the sense that if you let your child play Tomb Raider they might suddenly develop a desire to be Lara Croft. If your child starts playing a car driving simulation, they’ll actually want to start driving a car. Digital games still have enough of a “wow-factor” surrounding them that they’re new and exciting and will enthrall your children. As far as finance, the rising popularity of all-encompassing games that include a macroeconomy should be act as a great template for these gamified curricula. This macroeconomics already displays simple finance like supply and demand chains as well as investing and, obviously, resource management.
Private schools, especially Christian academies like Resurrection Christian School is free to always be adapting and experimenting with our curriculum. We can bring to light the best way for a child to learn with our diversified staff and help them hone skills in ways that aren’t possible in public schools. As educational trends and child psychologies develop and expand, so do we. Give your child the opportunity to start off on the right foot, enroll in a curriculum you have faith in. Contact us today for more information.