Speaking about gaming in general, to play a video games is to make many small decisions in a short window of time and instantly get feedback on those decisions. In that respect I think gaming helped my analytical skills in the long run, and it definitely helped my sense of exploration… I’m willing to make a decision without full knowledge, and then iterate quickly based on the result of that decision.
Gaming (board games, video games, card games, etc.) has provided me with a lot of value, understanding rule frameworks & probabilities, fostering a competitive spirit, encouraging exploration, driving a sense of perseverance (back when games where hard…). Ultimately, computer games piqued my interest in programming, which guided my college choice, and so on.
And so, I feel strongly that educators, parents, and game-makers should agree that games are an opportunity.
Theme, story & features can draw gamers in, and once hooked, they’ll learn to solve any puzzle, or memorize any answer to make forward progress, so long as the game upholds the experience. If we take the time to craft those experiences to teach the important lessons, we’ll have a better educated and interested youth.
If we slap together “edutainment” and simply call it a “game”, we turn that same youth off from learning.