"An effective learning environment, and for that matter an effective creative environment, is one in which failure is OK – it's even welcomed. . . . In game theory, this is often spoken of as the 'magic circle': you enter into a realm where the rules of the real world don't apply – and typically being judged on success and failure is part of the real world. People need to feel free to try things and to learn without being judged or penalised."
This quote from the article "The seduction secrets of video game designers" stirs a lot of thought in me to be used within the classroom. A new focus in the education world is Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset and that means allowing students the ability to NOT be afraid of making mistakes. School does such a great job of ingraining F= Failure, that they are afraid of the word. Games allow students to fail, over and over, without feeling penalized. They can explore and learn in a more natural way.
Giving students interesting tools, a goal, and TIME to explore and play without fear of being docked percentages or points is a game-changer *hehe* because it's so different and backwards than the traditional way school has been presented for so long.
Games also allow students to feel in control. Schools often create mini-worlds where the teacher is a dominant, all-knowing figure and students are the minions who work hard to memorize specific tasks each day. Giving students autonomy, in any way possible - not just in a gaming world, goes a long way with students. There is a joy that comes from planning, making choices, and watching the outcomes unfold. This is also a great teaching tool to prepare students for future decision-making!
Finally, games can teach the timeless mantra: practice makes progress. The more effort, dedication, and care put into a task, the better it can become. This isn't just in games- it's in all parts of life!