Slashdot | Games Better Than Books? There is a precedent here: HSBC, in the UK, (then Midland Bank) used to use Theme Park (a theme park management simulator) as a management training tool. Now, I was pondering this the other day... I wouldn't go so far as to say that games could be better than books, provocative though that may be, but I would argue that more should be done to leverage modern gaming technology in teaching. The two key things that most games already offer are the need to solve puzzles and the need to make decisions.. The latter, in my view, is a critical weakness in most modern education systems. Kids are encouraged to make choices, but not decisions (ie. choices that may effect others).
Computer game evolution has leapt in recent years, with the advent of multiplayer online gaming. This has not only brought a much-needed social aspect to computer gaming, but it has made games less predictable, more open-ended... more like life. If the US army can use these things for training, even offering cut-down versions for free on the Internet, then why can't we leverage this stuff better for kids?
Games will never substitute books - that's absurd, like saying TV or radio would. But what they can offer is a degree of immersion and interaction far beyond previous media; a chance to ignite those young imaginations while retaining the informational input, and even testing their skills and knowledge.