Instigator / Pro
44
1666
rating
56
debates
67.86%
won
Topic

U.S. K-12 Public Schools Should Incorporate More Video Games in Their Curriculum

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
12
15
Sources points
14
10
Spelling and grammar points
9
9
Conduct points
9
7

With 9 votes and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

Undefeatable
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Education
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
3,000
Contender / Con
41
1645
rating
64
debates
73.44%
won
Description
~ 517 / 5,000

US = United States

The resolution should be taken to be Merriam Webster definitions that makes the most sense given the context. No semantic arguments.

Burden of proof is shared.

Pro will argue that Kindergarten to 12th grade public schools in US should begin to, or continue, incorporate and approve video games into the academic curriculum -- thus encouraging students to play them, due to their benefits and educational value. Con will argue otherwise.

Who will implement this law? Local state representatives.

Round 1
Pro
Academic Benefit
It has been proven in countless studies that video games can improve a student’s academic performance. Micheal Young, a Professor of Psychology performed a study on the past trends of video games used within an educational space. The results in “A Review of Trends In Serious Gaming for Education” [1] found that over 300+ studies done on the topic had positive shown evidence of positive impacts on a student’s academic performance in subjects such as History, Physical Education, and even Science and Math. If this wasn't enough, another systematic literature review comes up with the same conclusion, noting that overall "games and/or simulations have a positive impact on learning goals. The researchers identify three learning outcomes when integrating games into the learning process: cognitive, behavioral, and affective." [3] It's clear that incorporating video games would actually help them in their learning.

A game that can be used within the education curriculum will have different challenges and experiences. In Timothy Barko and Troy Sadler’s paper titled “Practicality in Virtuality” [2]  they conducted a study comparing learning through a traditional classroom setting and learning through a video game based experience using a commonly found experiment in the classroom lab, extracting DNA. Video game workspaces can help expand the experiences gained through an exercise for example, when the students complete the DNA lab in person and have extracted the “DNA” -- which is difficult to add extensions to, due to nature of DNA -- the experience is over. But within the virtual space, that experience can be carried directly into new exercises using the results you got from the DNA lab. Experiments that are difficult to see or physically understand can be represented better using the virtual experience.

Pre-Rebuttal
Video Games are not inherently evil or unconsciously cause violence. In Cristina Cabras and Maria Cubbadas’s article “Relationships Among Violent and Non-Violent Video Games” [4], Cristina and Maria agree that aggression levels are also greatly affected by “peer pressure, depression, family violence, and antisocial personality”. It's too difficult to say that video games alone are dangerous for the students, especially with the professors monitoring the activity.

Con
1. Video games aren't necessary

An educator once said: “If somebody comes to me and says, ‘Iwant to make math fun,’ I don’t want to work with that person, because theydon’t think math is already fun.”[1]

Here iswhere the problem begins: Why are video games needed in learning at all? The conceptof video games, for many kids all around the world, is that it is somethingoutside of school and learning, easing its pain, instead of integrating withinit.

Iflearning is already fun for the kids, then there is no need for video games inclass.

Iflearning is not fun for the kids, then don’t expect video games to solve theproblem, especially since most educating video games that teachers got theirhands on are just reinforcing learning[2], or in a more-to-the-ground manner,telling you to use stuff you would have learned anyways from your teachers tosolve problems that won’t even be realistic anyways(such as blasting asteroidsor spelling the witch by tapping the correct solution to a problem). That is useless!

If so, kids will either associate learning with video games, expecting fun games to cover all kinds of materials taught ever; or they will associate video games with learning, hating school because the games suck. All you are left with are basically kids that are supposed to be learning normally anyways, solving no problem.

If the games aren't fun, school sucks, if the games are fun, then it is extremely unlikely that fun games can cover all the curriculum, hence preferences of classes, there are ones that aren't fun, school still sucks. It would take a huge effort to even makefun games for all, and why that when all you need is talking and a marker?


2. The problems video games cause

Competition
Now we throw the not-fun games out of the window because the problem is obvious. We have the fun ones, and once we can play them, disaster stikes. Kids will probably grind scores in the night to get the teacher to like them or call them smart, inputting large amounts of information with little quality. Games only tells you to complete them instead of learning anything within. Humans do much better at this.

Essentially their mind is occupied by competition: Completing the level before your friend, regardless of whether you have learned anything at all. That is not what learning is about.

Price
What do we need to operate video games? Video-playing devices. Not all schools could afford those, and if we specifically put fundings out for it, it would be a waste of money as we know Indian guys on Youtube does the same thing with a marker and a board. If teachers do that instead of games, we would learn the same things, but cheaper.

Conclusions
  1. With realistic measurements of schools and games, most kids still won't be motivated to learn.
  2. Games, in many cases, incorporate competition that will decrease their ability to learn.
  3. Having game devices is much more expensive than just teaching in the way your kids would love, and humans can handle it better than machines.
I am done.

Round 2
Pro
1. Video games aren't necessary

Con notes a problem he has with my proposition: If so, kids will either associate learning with video games, expecting fun games to cover all kinds of materials taught ever; or they will associate video games with learning, hating school because the games suck. 

While it is true that some kids may think the video games must be comprehensive and extraordinarily useful, with the instructor's warning beforehand, they may prevent such problems. In fact, I argue that it is actually better to necessarily incorporate these video games, even beyond academic reasons. Con's problems are non-unique even to gaming in general. Perhaps kids think Chess makes them a master strategist. Or that Call of Duty lets them be an expert fighter. But kids can be misled if they explore games on their own. In contrast, with the careful curated games and knowledgeable teachers, they will limit expectations and tell precisely what they need from the children. Remember how I said most educational games will focus only on specific subjects. This is key for focus, and key to improvement. If we just told the kids to play anything, then obviously this wouldn't work.

2. The problems video games cause

Con asserts that kids will be unnecessarily competitive, defeating his own claim that the game is unfun. He also uses no source to show that kids will actually do this in a significant amount that is counter-productive to their learning.

Con also claims that the video playing devices would be expensive and not many schools would afford it, but remember this is a state's law, so the money is out of the government, not out of the school. There's no statement on how detrimental this cost is.

Points dropped
  • Con dropped that video games would greatly enhance learning and improve academic performance
  • Con did not address pre-rebuttal, thereby agreeing that violence (and perhaps other negative effects) are not due to games alone, and may have other factors influencing them
Since I have space I will stack on another argument. There is intrinsic reason why games have educational value. As yet another expert analysis notes, students "can get rid of the limitations of the real‐life situation and give learners a more comprehensive and high‐quality experience." [1] Not only so, there are three ideas to help students become motivated: game spirit, game motivation, and game thinking. Through the emotional attitude of overcoming a challenge, they may apply similar ideas to their learning. The greater freedom can reduce the restrictions seemingly set with the originally mundane class time. With those bored with standard lectures and even Indians with white boards, games would surely offer a unique and enlightening them to a brand new way of learning.


Con
1. Video games aren't necessary

The two arguments Pro has presented are both of that the correct video games will enhance the learning experience, but nowhere that they are essential. Bottom line: If the effects of video games in school can be replaced by something that can be accomplished by a teacher, a staple of paper, and a single screen, then there is no need for video games because obviously, the latter is MUCH more expensive, with devices minimum at the number of a single class.

Now, this is the rebuttal stage: What are Pro's two main arguments? In the words of mine, I shall:
  • Playing games could make you better at learning
  • Playing games isn't necessarily bad
The second one is obvious that it doesn't say that games SHOULD be in school, but why they shouldn't be banned. The first? Counter-evidence here[1]. Kids who get a game system immediately, should the games be fun, will play it in the sacrifice of homework, and as a result, lose points in tests and grades. It is only the kids who get a game system AFTERWARDS have better performances and become more goal-oriented. It is either games that suck or games that will make them worse if they are embedded in the curriculum.

We probably agree on that video games usually focuses on COMPLETION and not LEARNING, and as a result, video games, however educational and fun, usually will not teach them a lot about solving problems(otherwise, it would be a tutoring session, instead of a video game).

Telling them what to do means that there are things that aren't to be done, and that will make kids, which are kids, tempted to try them out, which brings unfairness as it could either be extracurriculars that will make the guy get 1st every test or some plothole glitch that can make the guy slack off for months. Essentially, video games are more likely to go out of hand, and projects would been off as fun(PBL, [2]).

Then onto the DNA argument. In this case, the virtual workspace isn't necessarily a video game, likewise you don't call Autocad with Tutorials a video game. We are talking with video games, not anything digital that aren't traditional text stuff.

2. Implement the Law

Definition of Incorporate[3] and Curriculum[4]. I believe teachers should have the freedom to use virtual tutorials to teach students, but to let the state add video games into the curriculum? And let the government implement this LAW? I essentially have disproved that games are any necessary in learning, and even if it isn't harmful, games themselves aren't that much helpful either. Adding video games TO THE CURRICULUM is generally a waste as games, no matter what kind, focuses on the goal, not the process. If we learn in the gaming mode, we would expect an outcome from an input and care nothing within because all they want would be an answer and at most how you did it, which is also just an answer. Your mode of learning could get stale and stiff, which isn't good in life. In reality, the process matters more than games teaches us.
Round 3
Pro
Video Games Necessary

Notice how Con's source defeats himself. It claims " a larger, correlational study of more than 3,100 school children found no evidence for reduced achievement among habitual gamers. On the contrary, video game playing in this study was actually linked with higher academic achievement -- even after the researchers controlled for socio-economic status and other relevant factors (Kovess-Masfety et al 2016). Other studies hint that it's the kind of game play that matters."

As you can see, his studies only bolster my own sources that academic performance is increased. Extend this argument as Con completely drops it. Next, Con claims that the educational video games will only focus on completion rather than learning, but ignores my significant studies where results were achieved in an empirical basis. So his claim is completely unfounded. 

Next, Con critiques that the study titled "Practicality in Virtuality: Finding Student Meaning in Video Game Education" Is somehow not about video games at all. Despite the similar setting provided by the DNA Lab and the Study itself calling it "video game education", Con decides that he is more credible than experts. I await his reasoning why the experts' own decision on their naming of study is incorrect. The only requirement for video game from MW is "an electronic game in which players control images on a video screen" [1]. Even simulations or sandboxes are popular genres within video games, and this is no different.

Con criticizes my policy by repeating himself and saying: " If we learn in the gaming mode, we would expect an outcome from an input and care nothing within because all they want would be an answer and at most how you did it, which is also just an answer. Your mode of learning could get stale and stiff, which isn't good in life. In reality, the process matters more than games teaches us."

Con ignores my entire argument stacked upon last turn. He ignores that teachers may evaluate teamwork, game spirit, and motivation. He ignores that the gaming process itself cares about your intrinsic feelings. Recall: 

There are three ideas to help students become motivated: game spirit, game motivation, and game thinking. Through the emotional attitude of overcoming a challenge, they may apply similar ideas to their learning. The greater freedom can reduce the restrictions seemingly set with the originally mundane class time. With those bored with standard lectures and even Indians with white boards, games would surely offer a unique and enlightening them to a brand new way of learning.

Conclusion: Con has failed to bat away my arguments, and his sources agree with mine. If we include Video Games in education, then we will help invigorate students, and boost their performance. Under watch of educators, children will better be able to focus their love of fun, and learn the same thing a different way. Vote for pro.

Con
What I agree: Video games can be beneficial, but not necessary

I have seen the benefits of video games, but at the same time, there are losses within it. What does it mean to incorporate video games into the curriculum? It means, from the definitions of an authentic source, necessary.

DNA "Video Game"

The learning of DNAs requires no video game, and making it that would be unnecessary considering all you need is a 3D-model software and a few tutorials. Saying that it is a video game regardless would be an appeal to authority.

3rd Round

I hold my position. All learning should nevertheless mainly be in the form of tutorials, as:
  • Games feel stiff when it's got too much control, school still sucks
  • Games may not even teach you in an organized manner if they are too sandbox
    • Controlling between them is hard, especially since students vary from each other
  • Many games decrease social skills[1], and using them in a place that prepares us for a social environment is not a good idea
  • Unless you work at Microsoft, most of your job won't arrive in the form of video games
    • Most of what you learn are through lectures, tutorials, and projects(common sense), and there are PBL learning with projects that are as active and fun as video games, while increasing social activity
We have established that the world is social, and using singleplayer games does not help them with that. Then we switch to multiplayer games, which, according to a sourced source, may decrease our skill in reading[2]. School grades OR social skills, and both are needed preparing for life, and games with both are extremely lacking. My opponent have yet to give ONE example of games that trains our social skills at the same time learning without losing other aspects of learning. How does a proposal do anything when the proposer proposes no viable solution for it?

The learning of DNAs only involve a tutorial and not a video game and saying it is a video is a stretch. The rest? Not a trace. My opponent, in order to prove why games should be in the curriculum, might as well prove what ACADEMIC benefits it has, compared to that it just helps kids learn while having nothing crucial that it is worth being included into the curriculum, the same analogy of that just because Oxygen can make fire larger, it is not worth to be a fire fuel of itself.

Since games may decrease social interactions, my idea is to do projects instead(PBL), since projects:
  • increase social interactions and bond between students easily
  • Can BECOME the MAIN form of learning, instead of just encouraging to learn
  • Deal with physical things, as opposed to just a keyboard
  • Are goal-oriented
  • Are fun
  • Require thinking, motivation and spirit
Considering programming a game that can actually make kids learn as well as be fun and can increase social activity is incredibly difficult(and after that there is some, it would cause preference), harder than projects(just a thought-out plan) yet projects does much more, I would say that Proects, instead of games, are the way.



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