Games for learning have a long history

6FADF627E4B28032547CF9F93AA6DA0AThe idea that humans learn happily and thoroughly through play and games did not originate with the video game as the following blog, reposted from the Institute of Play, points out. Although few of us cling to the old idea that play isn’t compatible with the work of learning, we still have a lot to discover about how play facilitates learning and how to craft playful environments to insure that specific academic targets are hit. The Institute of Play is making an important contribution to this field.

History of Games & Learning – a blog post from the Institute of Play

(Click on the text for the full article.)

Games and learning enjoy an association that predates digital technology by thousands of years.

Members of Rhode Island’s volunteer played American Kriegsspiel following the U.S. Civil War. And the pioneering work of Friedrich Froebel―which led to the creation of kindergarten in Germany in the early nineteenth century―was premised on the integration of learning through games and play. The game of chess was used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance to teach noblemen the strategies of war. And there are some scholars who argue that the methods of dialogue and learning Plato ascribed to Socrates functioned through a kind of verbal play.


About lizaloop

Social philosopher, educator, writer, idea generator, teacher, parent, grandmother, community volunteer, musician, former horseback rider, skier, former dog owner, trouble-maker.

3 thoughts on “Games for learning have a long history

  1. ‘Play’ has many components, and does not require a game, or gaming. I learned a lot about computing and programming by playing with the code. Try this. Try that. Start over. Instruction helped create a core to work from, but wasn’t useful for useful programs. Playing, experimenting, and discovery were required to do something useful. Without a sense of play, the work would not have been completed.

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