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November 2010

Games and Education

What’s the Role of Gaming in Education?

Whether violent affairs like the much-villified Grand Theft Auto series or more complex games such as the best-selling World of Warcraft, video games can seem bewildering to the unacquainted. Levels? Cheat codes? Orcs? Certainly there cannot be much within the flashing and beeping to excite educators, right? But in the past few years, the tides have started to turn from dismissing, or even rejecting, video games, to exploring and embracing how they can be used to educate students around the globe. It turns out, after all, that even gaming for pure entertainment brings about benefits: neurological studies have shown improvements in players’ peripheral vision and ability to focus

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The World Bank’s First Foray Into Serious Gaming

The gaming industry has been growing faster than the movie industry in the past number of years and is occupying an increasing number of hours of time in a young person’s day. Many have argued that educational games have the potential to reach students outside of the classroom where some traditional educational methodologies are failing. Indeed, this genre of “serious games” has mushroomed over the past number of years. In order to better understand the impact and potential of such games, earlier this year, the World Bank decided to develop and evaluate an educational game focused on youth social innovation and development – Evoke: a crash course in changing the world. Here’s what we found.

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