Learning is indeed fun. And now, students who love playing video games can incorporate learning into it. Chemistry can be learned by playing the popular "Minecraft" video game. Video games can be of great help to your studies in some ways such as this.
According to Science Daily, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas which includes a materials scientist, two chemists, and a game design expert discovered that learning science is made a lot more fun through playing a video game. The study involves 39 college students who are taking different majors and were asked to play the enhanced version of Minecraft. In the process, the students were able to learn about chemistry.
"Minecraft" is a video game which is considered as the digital version of Lego. The game allows the players to create and build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D motion. Players can build houses, cathedrals and also complex machines, you can do everything.
Dr. Walter Voit, a materials science and engineering professor at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science is the research leader and the same time, the one who created “Polycraft World,” which is an adaptation of Minecraft. It enables the players to incorporate properties of chemical compounds and elements into the game activities.
In order for the students to learn how to play the game, they use the mod and instructions provided on a Wiki website. The players will be able to create different things through the process that involve distillation, chemical synthesis, and manufacturing processes, as reported by Supporting Education.
The team also recruited two chemist professors, Dr. Ron Smaldone and Dr. Christina Thompson to make sure that the mod is accurate. This will ensure that it indeed suited as a chemistry teaching tool. They were able to produce more than 2,000 methods for building more than 100 various polymers from thousands of chemicals available. It took a year for programmers to completely develop the platform.
Gizmodo reported that Dr. Smaldone shared that it would be great to have a class wherein the students will only have missions and quests to complete. He also said that “Video games offer an attractive educational platform because they are designed to be fun and engaging, as opposed to traditional approaches to teaching through lectures and assignments.”
Voit pointed out that the team’s goal is to show the advantages of using gaming format for learning and educational content. "An immersive, cooperative experience like that of 'Polycraft World' may represent the future of education,” says Voit.
Last year, Jobs & Hire reported that Microsoft made an announcement that they will be investing in the popular video game, Minecraft by creating a new version that will be perfect for teachers to use in the classroom.
Watch the video below: