By Min Xiao
Ph.D. student, University of Florida
Many people think educational games are for elementary school students and adults are too old to play them. In fact, games are widely used in both academic and professional trainings.
In universities, some professors ask their students to role-play being a manager in a company to solve real-world business issues. This activity is actually a role-playing game.
In the professional world, many companies use games as major team-building activities during orientation for new employees.
When people play games, they are usually very happy. This positive mood helps them to learn knowledge quicker and better than usual.
Another way to enliven the class is to use a technique called gamification. People often confuse gamification with using games in class. In fact, the two concepts are very different.
Gamification means borrowing game elements and applying these elements in non-game situations. For instance, teachers can adopt ranking and rewarding systems from video games and apply them in their class. The structure of the class is like a game, but students may not play a real game in the class.