Lots of video games today have educational value, even if it isn’t the main focus. In fact, we covered a good example of this not too long ago in our look at Animal Crossing, a game that includes plenty of small lessons about life experience and even financial management. While games like this can teach things to players almost subconsciously though, there’s also something to be said for modern video games that can instruct more directly.
Specifically, it’s easy to imagine such games being used to teach lessons relating to digital concepts and technological functions. It’s becoming more and more necessary for people today to be tech-savvy, and often, concepts that can seem about as difficult to comprehend as a foreign language can actually be broken down and taught in a fairly simple way. This could certainly be done through modern computer or mobile games, particularly where the following concepts are concerned.
Web design has actually been a sort of subtle online game genre for a few years now. Given how many people want or need websites today, and how many reasons there are to have one, it stands to reason that there’s a widespread need for design education. And some game developers, particularly in the browser space, have answered the call. Even a few years ago, TutorialZine highlighted 10 fun games that could be found in browsers, and which could help to train players in basic concepts of web design. Despite games like this already existing though, we’d expect to see more of them (not to mention better ones) in the years ahead. Ideally, such games would find creative ways not just to teach the basics, but to cover different types of web design for different purposes.
To some extent, the idea of learning coding language through gaming is much the same as that of studying web design. Though there are now simpler ways of crafting websites, those who really want to do a good job of it, and really understand the design, need a foundation of coding knowledge. In this space too there are already some games designed to teach coding, though frankly we’d like to see some more exciting versions of them.
Printed Circuit Board Design
Designing a PCB is something a lot of people have never really thought of before. But really there are few better ways to gain a true understanding of some of the underlying electronics in our day-to-day tech. And as much as PCB design may sound like an isolated activity, it’s actually one that can be gamified in numerous ways. First of all, it could enable people to pick and choose between different types of PCBs, and thus learn the differences and corresponding applications. Altium’s overview of the many types of PCBs explains that different options have different design requirements, and can be customized for specific purposes. A game could convey this, and then, in a playful and rewarding manner, guide the player through the specific design processes that would foster an understanding of PCB creation.
Cybersecurity is a broad topic, covering everything from how to generate a strong password for a device, to which software to trust for web browsing or cloud storage. In theory, there could be miniature games designed to address each individual facet of the concept. However, there’s also something to be said for the idea of larger strategy games in which players could design and adapt cybersecurity systems against increasingly diverse threats. Done properly, this could actually be a fun game and one that would instill important modern security ideas in its players.
In the past, graphic design seemed like more of a specific skill, reserved for people who needed it specifically for professional work in the industry. Now, however, it has a broader appeal. For instance, many people designing their own websites or starting their own companies might benefit from being able to design logos, layouts, or images that go beyond basic web design. Some might use graphic design for independent artistic purposes, or just for fun. These days, as was explained by The Social Media Monthly, even people in marketing can benefit from some graphic design knowledge. Given all of this potential need and interest, then, games that mimic and teach graphic design programs could be quite popular as well.
These are just a few examples. However, they demonstrate that educational gaming could do a great deal to help the average person become more tech-savvy as we move further into our digital future.