Game based learning (GBL) is a branch of serious games that deals with applications that have defined learning outcomes. Generally they are designed in order to balance the subject matter with the game-play and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.

A serious game is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment – a hidden agenda.  Games often have a fantasy element that engages players in a learning activity through narrative or storylines. Educational video games can be motivating to children and allow them to develop an awareness to consequentiality. Children are allowed to express themselves as individuals while learning and engaging in social issues.

Today's games are more social, with most teens playing games with others at least some of the time and can incorporate many aspects of civic and political life. Students that participate in educational video games can offer deeper, more meaningful insights in all academic areas.

Why Use Game Based Learning?

Not only does the integration of learning with gaming make the subject more fun, it also:

    * Motivates students to learn
    * Immerses them in the material so they learn more effectively
    * Encourages them to learn from their mistakes.

The success of game based learning strategies owes to active participation and interaction being at the center of the experience, and signals that current educational methods are not engaging students enough. Experience with and affinity for games as learning tools is an increasingly universal characteristic among those entering higher education and the workforce.

Sources:  http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/games , wikipedia

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