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Level-Up: Video Games and the College Experience

Professors and students are leveling up the playing field by using Video Games to benefit the college experience.

Two Video Game controllers, videogame joystick or gamepad on a table one red and one blue. Close up studio shot
Credit: Shutterstock/BONDART PHOTOGRAPHY

Video games are one of the most popular hobbies of this generation. College professors are using the spread of gaming to benefit their students in many new ways.

Classes are being transformed by the use of gaming interfaces. Video games improve communication, creativity, and many other skills that are transferrable to daily life. Gaming is developing from a hobby into a resume-worthy expertise.

Let’s explore how gaming is leveling up the college experience.

Skills

There are many basic skills required to be successful in virtually all video games. An abundance of games are made up of difficult puzzles, constantly working your brain to find new angles to deal with problems.

These puzzles push the mind to discover unique solutions. Some games have one correct answer, but many offer different ways, encouraging gamers to replay and rethink every solution.

Creativity is a huge skill you can acquire through gaming. It goes into every aspect of gaming from production to the player.

When playing video games, you are often adapting into a character or creating one for yourself. Or, in games like Minecraft, for example, you are even building your own world.

Gaming can be an outlet for people to discover their abilities and reach into other sides of themselves. Creativity is also often necessary to become successful when gaming, requiring the player to think outside the box.

Critical thinking and decision-making are two skills that are quickly obtained when gaming. You must constantly adapt to new environments, especially when playing against real players.

You don’t always know what move they will make, requiring you to think on your feet at a moment’s notice. Gaming quickly teaches one swiftness and confidence in their critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Teamwork and communication are also vital skills learned from gaming that are incredibly transferrable to daily life.

Many people team up with their friends or even join with people from across the globe to face opposition. Communication is essential when it comes to team games.

Gaming can help one build effective communication skills and force one to push through their boundaries when facing new people and scenarios.

These are only a few of the many beneficial skills you can acquire from gaming. These skills can transfer into college classes, the workforce, and simply in your daily life! Gaming expands the minds of students and can easily be applied to daily tasks.

Classroom

Many professors have observed the popularity of video games and have implemented them in their classrooms. From viral videos of students presenting their slideshows through Roblox to professors showing up to online classes through Half-Life, the world of gaming is truly transforming the college experience.

Gaming is not only extremely popular but very engaging. While it’s true that not everyone will understand every gaming reference, using video games can be very engaging for students.

Growing up, many students remember using interactive learning sites, and many wish that method would have continued.

Some professors are making that dream come true.

@justbotting

Reply to @duh_bidness How I run my world history through gaming class. #gaming #teacher #highschool #history #civilization #sidmeier

♬ original sound – Ryan Botting

One professor at Penn State, Jane Charlton, developed a video game called University of Mars and teaches her class entirely through the game. Students log into class and complete all their exams and assignments through the program. Using a platform like this, especially for students who stayed virtual post-COVID, is an engaging and exciting new experience.

Beyond using video games in the classroom, if you are just entering college they can be extremely beneficial as well. There are actually many scholarships you can get from playing video games.

Even if you aren’t interested in a career in gaming, there are plenty of scholarships you can obtain from playing or even having an interest in video games.

Scientific studies

Many scientific studies have been conducted to determine the benefits and skill sets learned from video games. According to a study performed by the National Institutes of Health,

A study of nearly 2,000 children found that those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory compared to children who had never played video games.

National Institute of Health

Many people, especially those of previous generations, have concerns about video games leading to violence and aggression.

This study, as well as many others, has not found that to be the case. Every hobby has potential downfalls, so it is important to educate yourself and use everything in moderation.

Asian Student Testing Interface of Bionic Hand. Engineer Wearing Virtual Reality Headset and Using Controllers at Modern University of Technology Classroom. Virtual Reality Concept
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Some positive benefits studies have found include healthy brain stimulation, stress relief, vision improvement, and better muscle control.

Video games increase brain activity and can improve memory and attention, according to the same study by the NIH. Some students are even experimenting with gaming technology for future use in hospitals.

If used safely, video games can truly improve your range of skill sets and help you in many areas of your life.

Tips and tricks

Whether you love video games or are just getting started, there are always new tips and tricks to learn.

While there are many benefits to playing video games, there are always a few downfalls. The key is knowing your own tendencies and establishing a goal for yourself early on.

A few college students have claimed gaming has helped them organize their time. Some students develop a timetable that allows them to finish their work and still have free time to game.

One concern for many students is allowing gaming to occupy their time and set school to the side, so always make sure to prioritize school before gaming. Setting screen limits and making a schedule is important.

Young gamer playing video game wearing headphone.
Credit: Shutterstock/sezer66

Find games that benefit the skills you are looking to improve on. While there are many free-play creative games, it can be very beneficial to search for games that can help you in specific areas.

Team games can help work through communication anxiety, for example. Whether it’s memory, math, attention, or even daily tasks (yes – there are video games that show you how to change a tire!) there is a video game out there for you!

Level-up

Overall, professors and students alike are using gaming to transform the college experience.

Video games can be extremely beneficial for those in college and can be used in many ways to level-up your skills, mind, and work ethic.

Good luck on your gaming journey!

Written By

English Literature, Culture, and Writing student at OU who loves reading, writing, music, animals, and gaming!

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