Gaming applications

There are many types of gaming application. They vary from solving simple puzzles to controlling characters that can run, jump, swim, ski, hijack vehicles and abseil buildings.

What they have in common is that they work by setting you a task to complete or solve and, when you complete one task, you move on to the next. For example, collect 10 eggs inside a time limit, avoid ducks, clear level, start level two.

Gaming has grown from a niche subculture into the mainstream, with industry revenue now surpassing that of the music, movie and literature industries combined.

Gaming applications in education and training

The availability of handheld devices and dedicated games consoles, as well as high levels of interaction and instantanious feedback, make computer games a natural platform for delivering education and training.

Gaming is playing an increasing role in schools, as teachers deliver lessons such as mathematics and science in a format that holds their students' interests.

Games can provide instant feedback, typically via scores, allowing students and teachers to gauge how well they understand the topic. Levels of difficulty can be used to engage learners of all abilities and games can be used to provide small amounts of information at the relevant stages in the player's progress.

Some benefits in comparison to the traditional classroom model include:

  • Learners can set their own pace, rather than have it dictated by a teacher. Students will not be held back because of the pace of the class
  • Due to a variety of multimedia, games tend to be more engaging
  • Instant feedback through scores, sounds and text

An example of this thinking in action is MinecraftEdu. This version of the popular game Minecraft was created for educational purposes. It teaches students a variety of subjects, such as maths and foreign languages.