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In General, Are Video Games Educational?


The Good Samaritan
Mar 20, 2012
Canberra, Australia
Before everyone says "no", let me explain this a little further. I'm sure almost every single one of us here plays video games for fun, right? Well, do we ever stop to think, "is this educational?" Of course we don't, we just continue to play without a care in the world. But I'm requiring you to really think about this. Think of all the games that you play, and in general, are they educational? Now, think of every video game made thus far, in general, are they educational?

I ask this because I was thinking about it last night. I asked myself these same questions, and truly, my answer was a simple "yes". Video games, in general, are educational. Whether we notice it or not, we're actually learning while we play. Whether the quality of education we receive from video games is good or not is for another thread, but in general I do believe video games are educational. I'll give a few examples below.

Educational Games

These are games that specifically serve the purpose of training your brain. They may not have a clear label that says "EDUCATION" on themselves, but we all know that's what they're there for. Two good examples of these would have to be Brain Age and Big Brain Academy. Both give the player the opportunity to play through countless "mini-games", which in turn helps train their brain in a sense. Though these types of games don't have to specifically train your brain. For example, Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure was a game specifically designed to help players learn how to type whilst having fun at the same time. There are even games such as Flash Focus that train the player's vision by providing various exercises to preform.

Puzzle & Strategic Games

I'm sure all of us could think of a few games that fall under this category. I'll start off with one we all know and love: The Legend of Zelda. Regardless of how linear many claim it to be, the Zelda franchise is notorious for its challenging puzzles and strategic ways to defeat enemies. I count this as educational because it causes you, the player, to think about your moves. It causes you to think about solutions to problems and puzzles, rather than just 'which enemy should I kill first'.

Another game that exhibits this well is Rhythm Thief. In Rhythm Theif, the player takes control of the main character and participates in various activities. Such activities require the player to carefully time their actions in a very strategic manner, while still fulfilling the required objective. Other series that fall under this category would also include franchises such as the Professor Layton and Scribblenauts franchises. They all provide the player with puzzles and problems that require thoughtful and creative ways to solve them.

Life Simulation Games

I'm sure one game comes to mind when we hear about these types of games: the Sims. The Sims is a classic example of a life simulation game, where the player is put into a position that seems just like real life. Though the art style and most concepts aren't entirely realistic, many aspects of it are. Another famous life simulation series would be Animal Crossing. The Animal Crossing series puts the player in a town, offers them a job (with the exception of a game or two), offers them a house, and then obligates them to repay their loans. Such a concept is very applicable to real life situations. Though these games don't give a truly realistic experience to players, it's still rather educational to learn from what they can and have provided.

Games that Involve Patterns

Patterns are a mathematical concept used widely throughout the world today. They've made their way into video games numerous times; however, I'll just point out one. Pokémon Trozei is a game that puts the player in a position where they must match at least 3-4 Pokémon -- in a row -- in order to clear them. It clearly requires focus, concentration, in the ability to find and locate patterns. Though I wouldn't call this entirely educational, I would certainly say it exercises the brain.

Physical Education Games

Though I don't play many games that require much physical activity, I still count them as being educational. You're training your body to become more flexible and agile. Not only that, but you're learning many dance and/or aerobic exercises to help get you into shape, and to help maintain a decent body weight. Games such as Wii Fit and Zumba Fitness would fall under this category.

All in all, I feel very strongly about the fact that video games are very educational. My question to you is, do you agree with me? If you do, what games do you find to be very educational? If you don't, why not? What causes you to come to that conclusion? Discuss.
May 31, 2013
Deep in the corn forests of Indiana
I completely agree that video games are educational in their own unique way. I first picked up a Zelda game (Twilight Princess) 2 years ago, and honestly, I was terrible at it. When I delved further into the series, I noticed how the games were sort of teaching me to become more observant of the given surroundings and that the solution to a problem/puzzle isn't usually obvious. Maybe subconsciously they've actually made me more attentive, but I can't be sure.

Before discovering Zelda games, I rarely played any video games, but now I know what games to look for. Honestly, games that don't make me think aren't as satisfying for me and turn stale quickly. Problem solving has become sort of my addiction and games in which the journey from point A to B is all tangled up are my favorite.
Dec 17, 2012
I can definitely see where you're coming from; video games can definitely help rewire people's minds and help them thing more creatively and effectively, unlike what a lot of people (mostly older people who don't understand the appeal of video games) would tell you. Still wouldn't quite categorize most video games as "educational" in my mind though.


つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
Nov 12, 2007
In bed
Video games are very educational! Didn't anyone else play Maths Blasters when they were young? :P


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
Star Ocean Till the End of Time and Guild Wars both taught me a crap ton about science and variance of words, actually. Stuff like debilitating, hex, boon, and eviscerate, I would never have known if not for Guild Wars - that's how much I read books, not joking. SO3 told me of things like AUs, pressure, science fiction terms like hyperdrives, etc.

Strategy games - primarily Rise of Nations, Warcraft, and Fire Emblem - have taught me about allocating funds properly, and how making the wrong turn isn't necessarily the end of the world. They've also taught me about weakpoints and blindspots, both of which are very important in school (grades) and driving (driving). ^.^

Nonlinear games have taught me about exploration.

So, while the goal of most games aren't to teach the players about everyday life, you can still learn a lot from them.


Hello Sweetie!
Jun 18, 2011
I believe you can pretty much learn things from anything. It can help you develop skills, it can help you develop eye to hand coordination, it can expand on your language skills, math skills, your problem solving ability, strategies, you learn to be more observant... there are many things you can take with you from playing games.


That 3D Guy
May 25, 2013
I actually learnt a lot about History through Assassin's Creed xD

In general? Maybe not intelligence in a general sense, but definitely intelligence in a practical sense. Puzzle solving and finding solutions to problems all help you, but aren't typically known as 'educational'.


Slammin' Salmon
Feb 25, 2013
They exercise your brain, so to some extent yes.

They can also sometimes be emotionally educational, with Final Fantasy 7 on my mind as I say that. To be quite honest one of the first experiences with death I ever had was
watching Aeris die
so, after crying (I WAS LIKE 6 DON'T JUDGE ME), I guess I better understood what it was like to lose something special.
Feb 7, 2012
Yeah. Edutainment games don't count; as they suck and don't teach you anything. I won't go into detail (because I'm lazy) but one example is the game "fold it". Look it up. It caused people that played it just for leisure to solve an AIDS problem that scientist couldn't even solve. You can also learn plenty more. Heck some people even learn English (the language) from playing games.

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