GamersLearn is a blog dedicated to:
(a) Making the parallels between features of video games and prominent psychological and educational theories more visible
(b) Reviewing educational and non-educational games by their game design features, to determine if the games are fun and engaging for students or useful for student learning
(c) A resource for educators who might be interested in using video games as learning tools
Hello! I'm Ku. I'm a 2nd year Ph.D. student that is a huge advocate of game-based learning. I taught for 4 years in New York City's public school system as a 6th grade math teacher before beginning my Ph.D. Like many of my former students, the amount of time I spent playing video games as a child was moderated by an adult figure. However, as a teenager and young adult, I spent an enormous amount of my free time playing video games, and I wondered why parents were anxious or doubtful about them. Whether it was informally learning about economy and factions in Starcraft, working together with my friends to play through the story in an MMORPG, or solving complex puzzles in RPG's such as Zelda, I always felt as though I was learning and exercising my brain as I continued to play.
Naturally, I incorporated video games into practice when I became a math teacher. What I noticed was a huge increase of engagement and willingness to learn from my students, including the students that were not typically motivated, engaged or interested in mathematics. I used my students' racing times in Mario Kart 8 to teach students the basics of mean, median and mode, and I used DragonBox Algebra 12+ as somewhat of an informal study to see if students could learn algebra from the game.
I became increasingly interested in this intersection between "fun" and learning, and decided that I would study and research game-based learning as a doctoral student in Education. I have found that video games embody prominent theoretical principles of psychology (that are related to education) and prominent theoretical principles of education. The aim of this site is to become a resource for educators, by showcasing the link between these principles and video games, and reviewing educational and non-educational video games.