The Future of Education and the role Games Play in Edutainment


The highly intellectual panel discussion at Game X 2021 organized by Epiphany revolved around how gaming can potentially influence educational space and the entertainment industry. The panelists included Olli Vallo CEO at Education Alliance Finland, Jana Al Badour Co-Founder at Sakura Games, Dr Paul Darvasi Game Designer/Researcher at the University of Toronto and Dr Waqar Saleem Associate Professor at Habib University (Moderator)

“We can extract Games components and graft those into the education system to make it better and gamification itself can improve the way we learn and adopt to teaching” – Paul

Waqar inquired Paul if gamification in education can be seen as a ploy by big game studios i.e. AAA game studios to actually enter this educational games market, to which he responded that it’s a huge possibility as big gaming and investing firms capitalize on new growth markets. He raised a very interesting point that “Teachers need to rethink how to create their teaching identity as designers of experiences rather than dispensers of knowledge”. He went on to say that he has designed multiple large-scale learning games with little to no software that created immersive learning experiences that led to better student classroom performance. He further added that he implemented the lessons he learnt from games like RPG & video games and created a safe learning environment in low budgets and no collaboration.

Jana asked how do you ensure that your games keep the student engaged causing positive learning outcomes responded by saying that her game target audience is very young kids so we keep it colorful, relatable with fun characters. Olli on the other hand mentioned how most of the evaluation of teaching solutions is either gamified or actual learning games. He mentioned how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation plays a vital role in developing a learning culture and how educators are deciding on the kind of games that would be appropriate for their teachings like Pokémon.

“Whatever the learning activities they have to be well connected with the learning goals otherwise the gamification concept stands null and void”- Ollii

Waqar addressed Paul with a loaded question can gamification lead to distraction among students or lead to better classroom productivity? To which he replied that games exemplify participatory culture because it brings together all the games aspects e.g. AR/VR so the relationship between game and education will go deeper with time. Olli mentioned some of the data privacy challenges encountered within edutainment and how governments are slowly adapting to the concept of introducing game culture in educational institutes.

To know more about the impact of gaming in education head over to YouTube to watch the complete conversation.

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