The game based learning market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% through to 2016, driven by the growth in mobile-based educational games and the growth within the gamification market.
Game based learning (GBL) is a type of game play that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, game based learning is designed to balance subject matter with game play and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.
Games fulfill a number of educational purposes. Some games may be explicitly designed with educational purposes, while others may have incidental or secondary educational value. All types of games may be used in an educational environment.
Educational games are games that are designed to teach people about certain subjects, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play. Game types include board, card, and video games.
Games have five major characteristics: conflict, control, closure, contrivance, and competency. Games encourage active learning, interaction between multiple people, encourage team work, and also provide a free environment that allows for skill enhancement.
Game based learning provides versatility for more than one learning style, and also can affect cognitive and psychomotor skills. While learning through games can be very effective, they can become a distraction, causing them to become too focused on the game and not on learning.
To progress in a game is to learn; when we are actively engaged with a game, our minds are experiencing the pleasure of grappling with (and coming to understand) a new system. This is true whether the game is considered "entertainment" (e.g., World of Warcraft) or "serious" (e.g., an FAA-approved flight simulator).
The implications of delivering game experiences for education and training are enormous. In the US, nearly 170 million people played computer and videogames in 2008, spending a record $11.7 billion. Harness the power of well-designed games to achieve specific learning goals, and the result is a workforce of highly motivated learners who avidly engage with and practice applying problem-solving skills.
Key players currently dominating the game based learning market include LearningWare Inc., Lumos Labs Inc., BreakAway Ltd., PlayGen.com.
For more information on the game based learning market, see the latest research: Game Based Learning Market
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