Many students remember playing "Oregon Trail" simulation game in elementary school. I remember putting the floppy disk in the disk drive and waiting impatiently for it to load, I remember sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see if my wagon would indeed make it across the Mississippi River. Teachthought.com lists "Oregon Trail" as perhaps the most widely played and beloved educational video game to date.
Fast forward 25 years and the landscape in educational games has changed DRAMATICALLY. The options are dizzying and overwhelming to a teacher trying to vet the best games to introduce to students and include in class. Certainly, students will seek out video games on their own that are not related to education, but there are some commonly recognized advantages of using video games in classrooms.
(McClarty, Orr, Frey, Dolan, Vassileva, & McVay, 2012) cite the following five advantages when considering integrating educational games into the classroom:
J Shapiro. (2014, June 13). Benefits of gaming: what research shows. Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/13/benefits-of-gaming-what-research-shows/
McClarty, K. L., Orr, A., Frey, P. M., Dolan, R. P., Vassileva, V., & McVay, A. (2012). A literature review of gaming in education. Gaming in education, 1-36.
T Heick. (2012, September 12). A brief history of video games in education. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/a-brief-history-of-video-games-in-education/