What is it exactly that humans (children in particular) love about technological gadgets? Why do we want to type rather than write? Have our voices heard on social media and blogs rather than in a diary. Watch a YouTube video rather than read a text book. Maybe we’re all designed to learn – not just through listening, reading, writing, but through interaction, experience, collaboration and creativity. Through play, and in particular, gaming.
Is it the novelty of the device or the intrinsic want and need to try new things, explore and discover?
Play is built around a number of different components. It allows us to use our imagination, collaborate with peers and discuss ideas, problem solve, create, explore, discover and to ultimately gain a sense of accomplishment. Play can be all of these things, individually or collectively. We invest our time (and often money, $8 billion a year in fact) in gaming for the return benefit, a sense of emotional achievement and satisfaction.
So why is it that we get to a certain age and we’re given text books and lecture slides and we’re told to forget about learning through play – something that’s drummed into us since birth, right through preschool and kindergarten, then primary school. When suddenly, we get to high school and we’re made to carry around a large backpack with extra back support? Then we become part of a workforce and we have to sit at desks with a notepad and pen and occasionally watch a bunch of lecture slides. Of course, there’s much more to learn in high school and in the corporate world – but why does it have to be so… well… cumbersome. Where’s the exploration and enjoyment?