Video Games are not what your really think…
This is for sure a controversial topic but I’m going to risk it. Some parents reading this are starting to say something like “what? Is he serious? Video Games are bad for children, you can just learn bad words!”. Well, sorry but… WRONG. Of course, I’m not saying that all video games are wonderful learning tools and that none of them are violent. But in some cases, video games can be really useful to learn social skills, languages and even history! Be prepared to a tour of the games that can make you learn something!
Life Simulation Games
In order to make things clear, we are going to talk about the most popular of the life simulation game: The Sims! The Sims is a computer video game where you can create some characters and play with them in a fictional world you have created too. You have to make them interact with your world and, like a god, interfere in their life. They will have friends and do whatever normal people do in real life.
Therefore, your children could learn some social skills by playing this video game! And not only social skills! In order to interact with the Sims world, you have to pass your mouse over some elements of the game and – guess what? – you can change it to your targeted language in the option menu. This are all the languages available for this interface: English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Chinese.
FPS (First Person Shooter)
With the same principle as earlier, you can change the language of the menu etc. The plus of those kind of games is that there are more dialogs, cinematics and character discussions. By changing the language, it will affect the dialogues and even put some subtitles. Could there be anything better?
This applies for the campaign mode (the solo mode) where you are involved in the story created for the game. However, most of those games don’t limit themselves to this mode. Welcome to the online world!
A large number of FPS video game possesses an online mode. This is the best way to learn because you are not going to practice only by listening dialogs of the game with a nice pair of headphones! Players all around the world use the online mode and you can communicate with them and play at the same time. This is a good way of communicating because either you speak in the right way for getting help of your team or… you die.
The beauty behind it lies in the fact that you can even join some teams and play on a regular basis with foreign people, and you can improve your language. Moreover, if you have spare time, some of those are like a sport team by scheduling practice and training sessions to improve their game and by the way… your language skills! By doing this, you put yourself in an authentic situation even if it is only a game. No need to imagine you are talking to your neighbour like in school… here you are a soldier, a warrior or any kind of character you prefer to play!
MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game)
I have to admit, this is a barbaric term but it summarise pretty much everything. Huge platforms of game, only online, with thousands of other gamers around the world. Same principle than the online part of FPS games, here you will play with many foreigners! You can join guilds, fight with teammates and speak with them.
Here are the most famous of them, and this is not an exhaustive list at all, so don’t be mad if I didn’t put your favourite one: World of Warcraft, Dofus, The Lord of the Rings Online, Star wars the old republic, Rift, and so on.
Yes, YouTube even possesses a website entirely dedicated to video games! Here you can learn tips, solutions and news about your favourite games. The website is only in English for the moment but will probably expand in the future and we hope so! Anyway, it is a good way to learn English while enriching your geeky knowledge!
Mastering Other Skills
As well as your language skills, some of those video games are a good way to sharpen your mind. The best player is not the one who presses the fastest his keyboard or joystick, it is the one with the best strategy and the best plan to fight its enemies. For children, this is a way to learn that rushing in is never the best way to achieve their goals, but thinking about it before is much more efficient.
Do you remember your boring history class in high school with all the dates to remember? For me, it was a nightmare. However, now I have the solution! Do you want to learn Italian Renaissance? American and French Independence? Bet on the Assassin’s Creed franchise! Those video games are incredibly rich of historical and cultural content. For example, in three of those, you play Ezio Auditore, an Italian assassin born in 1459. You will be evolving in the ancient Italy and live in the Renaissance as a friend of Leonardo Da Vinci. Of course, the Assassins are fictional, but the historical facts where the scenes take place are accurate and you can learn a lot from this. In addition, every time you meet a new character during the game, you can press a button to learn more about him and read his biography. Why don’t you try?
Self-control and Tenacity Master
Ask any player in the world and you will find out their favourite game is the one they spent ages to finish because it was too hard. The most a player scream while playing, the most he enjoys it after all. This is another skill you acquire while playing video games: repetition is the master! If you are not attaining your goal for the first time, start all over again. If you are not attaining it the second time… Start over again, and again, and again… until you succeed! So is life my friends. Never give up! In the end, when you finish this game, you will be so proud (and at the same time so sad to having finished it) that you will want more.
So, did we convince you that playing video games could be a good way to learn? If you want to add anything, don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Tell us which video game you used to play and if you think it allowed you to learn something!