This thread has been made because of a common controversy about video games, whether or not they make us "smarter, or stupider".
If we were to talk about how Video games can make us smarter, than maybe we can discuss points on how video games can improve our focus, in which we focus on your tasks on trying to do whatever to beat any video game we play. Maybe also add in the fact that we'd have to think critically on how to solve problems and go past obstacles that go along our way to try and beat the game. However, then there's the question of whether or not video games make you "stupider", or just, not good for you in general where people have said that too much of one thing is not a good thing, or the common debate from people on how video games can "rot your brain".
But still, knowing all of this, could people possibly use more video games, other than the obvious education games, to educate people somehow? Could we take in the benefits of playing video games to account, or, would the possible bad qualities of playing them outweigh the good? What benefits, or disadvantages would you see from using video games to educate people somehow?
Do you have any other thoughts on the matter?
Hawthorne Guardian Moderator of Video Games Paired to: Perdition Haze
Edit: But I... used BBCode markup like it said in the FAQs.
Anyway, just copy/paste the links. They're worth it.
There's a lot of controversy about video games and their possible educational/helpful/detrimental effects. They make us smarter, they make us more stupid, they make us violent, they don't make us violent, only some games make us violent, certain people shouldn't play certain games... etc etc.
Basically, the brain is... like plasteline, especially in children. It's flexible, it can be changed towards certain directions depending on what stimuli you give it. Games are a stimulus just like music, sports and languages. Scientists have been researching the effect of video games on the brain ( http://www.scilearn.com/blog/video-games-brain.php ) and found both positive (decision making, task switching, visual attention) and negative possible effects.
But they don't seem to be certain about much yet. There are also a lot of things they have to take into account. For instance, if you're a scientist and you find that socially isolated people tend to play video games intensely, you can't conclude that video games cause isolation. You have to check whether people who are already isolated tend to fill up their time with video games, or if intense gaming causes isolation (as opposed to moderate gaming).
Could we use games to educate? My personal opinion is that it might be possible in the future, but it's currently just as uncertain as the claims that games are linked to aggression and loneliness. For instance, here's a study: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124132.htm about how action video games possibly improve reading skills in children with dyslexia. But that doesn't definitely prove we can use video games to cure dyslexia. It's just one study, the findings haven't been extensively tested. I'm currently playing a game called Immune Attack to help with my biology classes in college (you navigate a nanobot through your blood and the goal is to fight a rare fictional disease your character has). I think it has helped me. But that doesn't mean there's a proven link between video games and improved academic performance. (There might be one, but not that I know of.)
So, basically... I don't think there's a definite answer to your question as of yet. (Blah, blah... "I don't think there's a definite answer to your question." Cool.) But it's definitely an interesting question.