Learning with (digital) games

Learning with games. Playing often leads to a kind of confrontation with the object of the game or a subject matter which would also be desirable for learning processes. Playing is a motivating, satisfying and highly concentrated activity. This can lead to "immersion" in the gaming world and to a flow state. In the flow state the affected person is strongly concentrated, feels inner satisfaction, can solve difficult circumstances and time passes quickly. An essential prerequisite for this condition is an appropriate level of difficulty. However playing not only causes a willingness to deal with something for longer, but also an experimental behavior. New or unusual variations, strategies and decisions can be tested safely in games, since failures in the game do not have a negative effect on reality.
In addition to problem orientation and high motivation, important didactic principles can be implemented through playful learning. Holism results particularly with regard to the fact that games can address also affective and psychomotor areas besides the cognitive ones. Obviously, a high level of student activity and independence also goes along with learning by playing. Since many games are suitable for carrying out, deepening and repetition, the principle of securing success can be well fulfilled with games.
Compared to 'normal' games, computer games can improve the gaming experience and offer some advantages that are significant in terms of learning processes.

Here is a keyword selection: Computer games ...

  • take care of rules (there is no need for a game leader and no arguing about rule violations);
  • have less waiting time and a faster run of play;
  • usually have better graphics and can integrate multisensory elements (videos, audio files);
  • have a high level of immersion (especially in VR-games and -applications);
  • can provide numerous (learning-relevant) additional contents;
  • make it easier to find suitable opponents or partners via the Internet;
  • allow increased complexity;
  • enable a level of difficulty appropriate to the player's level, which makes it possible to achieve a high level of motivation.
  • (Arndt, Holger: Medien des Wirtschaftsunterrichts, Opladen 2017).

Computer Games and Economic Education

With computer games (including games on consoles, tablets and smartphones), numerous learning objectives of economic education can be boosted, both through specific use in the classroom and informally through play activities in leisure time. In many games, decisions have to be made under uncertainty, conflicts of objectives have to be managed, interdependencies have to be considered and scarcity problems have to be overcome. In terms of content many games also have a clear connection to economic issues, such as the division of labor, production, cooperation (-problems), trade, competition or the design of (economic) policy. Also of interest for economic education processes are games that offer considerable freedom in economic decisions for larger numbers of players (MMO games), such as Eve Online or Minecraft.
Here you will find a more detailed description of potential economic learning objects.