About Free Educational Games
Educational games, as the name suggests, are games designed with the primary purpose of educating the player, usually about a specific subject or skill. This can include anything from math to language arts to social skills. The idea behind this genre is that learning should be a fun and engaging process, which is where the gameplay aspect comes in. It's a way to develop cognitive, motivational, and psychomotor skills while having fun.
The concept dates back to the 1950s, when IBM, a multinational technology company, developed some games to help train its employees. But the real boon to the educational gaming industry came with the advent of computer technology in the 1960s and 70s. Educational games became more accessible, more engaging, and began to appeal to a broader demographic - especially children. A paradigm shift occurred - learning was transformed from a tedious process to an enjoyable experience. The popularity of these games has continued to grow ever since, evolving with the rapid development of technology.
Players of these games come from all walks of life - from children exploring the magical worlds of reading and arithmetic to adults looking to brush up on their language or leadership skills.
What types of online educational games are there?
There are several sub-genres within the world of online educational games that are as diverse as they are informative. Some notable ones include:
- Role-playing games, in which players learn through storytelling and character development.
- Simulation games, which mimic real-world situations and allow players to acquire new knowledge and skills in a controlled, low-risk environment.
- Puzzle games that develop cognitive skills such as reasoning, problem solving, memory and attention to detail.
- Strategy games that help develop strategic thinking, organization, decision-making, and resource management skills.
These free educational games, created by an amalgam of developers including academics, software experts, and psychologists, offer a unique approach to learning and skill development.
What can you learn from educational games?
Beyond basic knowledge and skills, free educational games also help cultivate soft skills that are critical for overall development. These include teamwork, problem-solving skills, decision-making, patience, and the resilience to keep trying after failure - all in an engaging and interactive way.
Best Online Educational Games
Here are some notable online educational games for kids that have gained popularity:
- Prodigy Math Game, a role-playing game where kids engage in epic battles while learning math.
- Duolingo, a gamified language learning platform with bite-sized lessons in many languages.
- Minecraft: Education Edition', a game-based learning platform that encourages creativity, collaboration and problem solving.
- ZType, a fast-paced typing game that improves typing speed and accuracy.
- Lightbot, a puzzle game that teaches programming logic and coding.
By combining elements of fun with the rigor of learning, online educational games have successfully changed the traditional perception of education. Their growing popularity is a testament to the fact that learning is indeed more effective and enjoyable when it becomes interactive and engaging.