An interesting juxtaposition of consecutive articles from BECTA recently. The first questions the effectiveness of those “Brain Training ” games that some people including allegedly Nicole Kidman go doolally over, saying that in one study there was no significant improvement in performance in areas like memory tests compared to control groups. Given that the sample size was tiny it’s not going to light a fire under the debate but interesting nonetheless.
The second article on the other hand trumpets the value of gaming in enhancing certain skills. Many games require the development of strategies, problem-solving and increasingly creativity (see games like Spore) plus they are fun.
I did a wee post a while back about using commercial gaming releases as an opportunity for informal learning and this kind of bears that out but it’s most interesting that the games specifically written to enhance learning (or to tap into that particular market) possibly aren’t actually that good at what they claim to do.