Are games useful for learning?

January 22, 2008 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

We have been hearing about how games will be important for learning for 50 years, with enormous publicity for games in many articles like this. But it has not happened, and I doubt that is will ever happen. The proponents of games argue that students enjoy them, an important issue, but other forms of learning can lead to enjoyable learning.

The principle problem with almost all learning games is that they do not adapt to individuaal student learning needs on a moment by moment basis. Further seldom do they deal with the fundamental issues of learning. For example few games help young children learn to read, in the full sense.

I have been pursuing for many years another learning strategy, adaptive tutorial learing. It can be used with schools or in locations where no schools exist. Each student moves in a unique pace until successful in learning. I have recently been invited to describe this lifelong learning strategy to serveral oganizations in Washington. Games might be used in this approach, partially, but not current games.

I would be happy to send full details of this approach. Please write to me at

Author: Alfred M. Bork (University of California, Irvine)


Entry filed under: Games, Learning. Tags: , , , .

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The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

Email: /



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