The 21st century has been characterized as an era of innovation and constant transformation, and the area of education is no exception, as it provides an important opportunity for teachers and students to have access to more information, even for areas where technological devices are difficult to obtain.
One of the pedagogical strategies that are revolutionizing education is the use of video games. Since the 80’s its use was established to promote learning and thus reinforce the knowledge acquired during classes.
Due to the great interest and attention that young people put into them, they can become a key part of developing certain skills needed for the future and, as a result, some countries have already begun to integrate video games into their educational curricula.
According to an BDI report, Video games are not a game: The unknown successes of studies conducted in Latin American and the Caribbean, childhood and adolescence are important stages in the development of a human being and it is these cycles when video games become part of their lives. Certain characteristics of video games such as purpose and objectives of the games or missions and the type of connectivity, whether online or offline, can be determining factors in their formation, including their socio-emotional development.
By including certain guidelines on how interactions should be carried out, video games can manage to influence the behaviour of their users and thus contribute to the development of skills such as teamwork, communication or solidarity; some studies have even shown that they can enhance creativity, problem solving and strategic thinking.
Other studies have shown that the use of video games has certain positive effects in relation to attention and the ability to perform simultaneous tasks, as well as reaction time, processing speed and reduced stress levels. They can also generate values in users such as perseverance and motivation, since advancing to another level or completing a test usually always brings a reward.
On the other hand, the use of technology can enable greater outreach at lower cost and thus introduce new forms of teaching and learning and the possibility of reaching excluded populations. Therefore, video games can be an innovative solution to support teachers, improve learning and develop new skills such as flexibility or empathy.
Future employment may be within reach of a controller or computer
The World Economic Forum’s report: The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Strategy of Workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, noted that the professions in greatest demand today did not exist a decade or five years ago, and that 65 percent of students now in primary school are expected to work in jobs that do not yet exist (Luzardo et al., 2019).
The link between video games and jobs of the future lies in three main factors: video games as a potential career, as a tool for learning new skills for the jobs ahead, and as a source of productivity in the work environment of the future (Luzardo et al., 2019).
Conversely, video games can also improve and strengthen social ties, as well as business values such as solidarity and teamwork.
Although they can be beneficial, in Latin America the situation is very different because, as there is little knowledge about how profitable the application of video games can be, this traditional business culture faces the mistrust of employees to be able to effectively and autonomously manage their work time.
In conclusion, video games can help create new jobs of the future in three important ways:
- The creation of job opportunities and technocreative entrepreneurship.
- Assisting in the training of employees of the future.
- Development of more stimulating work practices (Luzardo et al., 2019).
Also, the use and implementation of video games can help to form much more creative, intelligent, sociable, and prepared human beings. But the key lies in making a responsible, didactic use that is oriented to the needs of society in general and on an individual level.
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Luzardo, A., de Azevedo, B., Funes, G., Pison, J., Becerra Luna, L., & Santoro, M. et al. (2019). Los videojuegos no son un juego: Los desconocidos éxitos de los estudios de América Latina y el Caribe [Ebook]. Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Retrieved from https://cloud.mail.iadb.org/videojuegos