Consider that game design and learning aren't magical happenings that exist outside of common sense and reasoning. Consider that learning anything well involves some exposure, experimentation, repetition, reflection, and even guidance. And consider that all of our experiences stack upon each other making up who we are, how we think, and how we understand everything else we experience.
Consider that everything we do is serious to our brains. Whether in class or in a boss battle our brains are absorbing our experiences and organizing them by connecting similar ideas/activities and recognizing patterns. Video games are unlike anything else out there. Each game has its own set of rules and ways to interact with the system. Because video games can be so fun, it's not uncommon for players to put many hours into a game. It's also not uncommon for players to improve over time.
So I thought about the different concepts that different games iron into players through their rules, structured interactive environment, and repetition. Simply doing what it takes to get from point A to point B in a video game can force us to internalize many different concepts. The following is a short list of some of the concepts players can pick up while playing specific video games.
- Tetris: a kind of division with remainders or factoring out elements by whole amounts
- Picross: counting and deductive reasoning
- Guitar Hero (any game with combo multipliers): multiplication
- Katamari Damacy: volume and scale
- 2D Mario Platformers: projectile motion
- Little Big Planet: programming logic
- World of Goo: 2D physics based structures and bridges
- Professor Layton: reading comprehension, logic, and analytical skills
- Rhythm Heaven (music rhythm games in general): rhythm and timing
- Sudoku: deductive reasoning
- Sim Life: biology and evolution
- Pokemon: genetic variation
- StarCraft (RTSs in general):resource management, calculus
- Portal: 3D spatial reasoning
- player stats (game stats in general): processing data sheets
- Metroid/Zelda series (many other games as well): map building and reading skills
- Simon: memorization
- Team based/ Co op games: team work, group dynamics, role assignment
- The Typing of the Dead: typing.
I'm confident that the accelerated rate that I progressed through my beginning piano lessons was due to my experience with video games. After playing games like Super Mario Brothers 3 and Mega Man, playing Mary Had A Little Lamb on a 5 button controller (the piano) was a piece of cake.