Playing games is the only way most animals pass valuable knowledge to their next generation. A run-and-catch game among lion cubs not only strengthens their social bonds but also exposes them to vital skills they need to develop for their survival; agility, taking actions, reacting to their environment, and strategic thinking.
It is a known fact that the cognitive revolution about 70000 years ago, and the agricultural revolution around 30000 years ago, changed human lives in such a rapid way that our genes could not provide the proper evolutionary adaptations. That is the reason we find the urge in ourselves to go back to whatever our genes cry for, and find it difficult to diverge from what they dictate us to do.
The gross of digital games as early as the entrance of computers in our lives raised numerous discussions around the effects it could bring to our social-mental health, especially among children. As one of the most intelligent animals ever lived on the Earth, we have the benefit of being capable of practicing our technology and desire in a way that also meets our biological interests. The emergence of gamification and serious gaming are examples of such practices.
Playing games could indirectly transfer a message which could be a social-cultural concept or a scientific fact. Games, in contrast to for example books, force players to take part in the progress of the story, create a situation in which not only they could experience the results of their choices in a safe environment without any serious consequences but also develop their skills to predict obstacles and encounter them strategically. Digital games, having the advantage of rapid computing and revealing countless possibilities, would provide an exceptional opportunity for players to develop their creativity, imaginativeness, and innovation skills. The challenge we are facing now is to associate the technologies we access, with the interests we have, in order to provide educational methods to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the next generation.
Written by Diba Mokhtabad, Changemaker