Why game-based learning?

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Why game-based learning?

Published on Nov 12, 2020 by Sarah Campbell

Why game-based learning?

The power of games to motivate learning

Game-based learning is shown to be the most effective way to learn. Humans are motivated by autonomy, mastery and connectedness. Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) demonstrates as these three factors increase, our intrinsic motivation increases, as well as enhancing wellbeing and satisfaction.

Games are defined as structured play, having goals, rules, challenge and interaction, and involve mental or physical stimulation and develop practical skills. The structure, goals and rules, in combination with an amount of freedom within these, lead to the player developing a sense of autonomy and mastery.

Great games have a good balance of challenge and reward. This helps players develop a sense of mastery, whilst creating the positive emotions to make a strong, memorable experience.

The interaction in games, particularly in multi-player games and online games involving characters and controls, leads to a sense of connectedness, especially when accompanied by a great story. The immersive nature of games also means players often want to talk about their experience afterwards, creating a great focus for having conversations about knowledge and understanding following the experience.

The immersive nature of games, along with the aim to fulfil defined goals, leads to players entering a flow state. A flow state is an optimal state of being, leading to a deep sense of satisfaction, fulfilment and wellbeing. So by playing games and increasing the amount of time spent in flow, players maximise their fulfilment and wellbeing, as well as learning some useful skills at the same time through interactive activity!