Good Games Are Hard: in a Fun Way
In her article “Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?” Holly Korbey interviewed a few educators who had some bad ideas about computer games;
“And learning is hard work. The tools children use to manipulate and
change the world and their own neural pathways should reflect the
profundity of that phenomenon; we should have some blisters, form
calluses, break a sweat. Computer games don’t demand that from
The better games are demanding. That is why they are the best games. There are educational games that are very challenging but they are challenging in the way that good play is challenging. It is counter productive to remind children that they learning not playing. The best learning happens when we are playing.
Practicing a skill leads to success, but if the practice is boring then students will be less motivated to engage in the requisite practice (James Gee, 2007). The best digital games provide practice that is very compelling, engaging, and challenging, but never boring. Gamers play not because games are easy but because they are hard. But, they are hard in the right way, to the right degree, and most importantly – they are hard in a fun way. The best games provide the balance of challenge and support. To describe learning as “hard work and not play” is one of the worst possible ways to describe it.
Gee, J.P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (Rev. ed.). New York: Palgrave McMillian.
To read the full article by Holly Korbey click here;