After viewing the video “Brain Training” Video Games and Tangential Learning by Daniel Floyd, there are a few key points that I learned about Gamifying Education. There is a big divide between educational games and fun games. The main goal of educational games is to teach you something. At times these games may not be very fun to the user and are seen as a chore. Fun games are just that, fun, but do not expand the horizons of the gamer. By combining the two we can enable learning because the user is engaged in what he or she is doing and is interested in the topic. When a learner is enthusiastic and engaged in what they are doing, the learning becomes easier.
In the video Floyd talks about the concept of Tangential Learning. Floyd states that Tangential Learning is “not what you learn by being taught, rather it’s what you learn by being exposed to things in a context in which you are already engaged in.” If you introduce someone to a topic within a game that they are already excited and engaged in, it may provoke that person to educate themselves more on that topic or a facet of the topic.
The whole point of gamifying education is enhancing the educational experience for the users without making them feel like they are being beaten over the head with the subject matter. It is important to remember as game developers that we are provided with a wonderful opportunity to not only engage users, but also expand their horizons and learning experiences.