Teaching through the use of games is nothing new but new edtech tools and techniques make the gamification of education a major focus of the classroom. Gamifying education, as opposed to supplementing traditional educational techniques with games, is slowly gaining attention in the educational community and is gaining acceptance even within the traditional educational establishment.
There are elements of gaming in many areas of entertainment, the workplace, lifestyle and digital marketing but one of the most effective spaces for gamification is in the world of education. The arrival of the metaverse is hastening that evolution and expanding the opportunities that gaming offers to educators.
The Vegas online casino is stepping into the gaming universe to explore this growing sector.
The metaverse refers to any immersive, digital, usually 3D environment where multiple users interact with avatars. The environment includes virtual scenarios that feature houses and rooms rooms, communities, outdoor areas, and other spaces where users are free to invent their own paths and social interactions in a sandbox gaming environment (where players have the freedom to set goals for themselves). Metaverse gaming usually involves VR equipment.
Adrian Gimate-Welsh, founder of a full-service game development studio called TagWizz, believes that education could turn out to be gaming’s most productive area. TagWizz supports and collaborates with business companies and video game studios that make games and apps with an educational tilt in mind. TagWizz provides services like backend development, 2D and 3D art design and concept, quality assurance and customer support services.
Platforms like Roblox are giving studios like TagWizz the opportunity to develop metaverse gaming experiences where they can introduce educational material in digital spaces and create more impactful educational opportunities. They look for ways to apply game design and mechanics within a non-game context. Some examples of these s include the gamification of children’s stories to boost the reading culture and an app that teaches personal finance.
Gimat-Welsh told Forbes that, as multiple metaverses become the next Internet paradigm, it’s possible to implement such concepts into the metaverse. Why? Because, Gimate-Welsh says, and studies have confirmed, gamifying subject matter causes higher levels of engagement and people learn more and retain more when they are engaged. Even as educators complain about the difficulty of dealing with childrens’ shorter attention spans, children can sit for hours playing video games or immersed inside a digital life. It’s possible to create digital communities that serve as tools for their cognition development and knowledge. Metaverses can bring that about – allowing kids to be citizens of multiple digital worlds at the same time that they are citizens of their own country.
Gimat-Welsh notes, “If we don’t use these environments to educate our children in time, we might be rearing a generation unaware of what they’re learning. The odds are that we will have diverse metaverse societies at one point in the future. They will have their own cultures, values, rules, and regulators. They will integrate public services, crypto-banking, commerce, working places, as well as excellent schools. This future might look scary to some, but it’s not necessarily dystopian, at least not if we proactively address it for better purposes.”
Metaverse Gamification for Education Games
According to the Brookings Institution in their February, 2022 titled “A whole new world: Education meets the metaverse, “The metaverse is upon us.”
There are a number of gaming companies that are developing educational content for the metaverse. They include:
March Through Time
March Through Time, created in collaboration with the Fortnight creator Epic Games and Time Studios, is an interactive experience where players learn about Dr. Martin Luther King via his “I Have A Dream” speech and the history that surrounds it. In the game, players are transported to Washington D.C. as it was in 1963 where they become part of the era the Civil Rights movement by walking through the city during the protest and listening to Dr. King’s speech. For each task completed the player lights a pillar and once all the pillars are lit the player will receive a special D.C. '63 Spray Motive.
Levels include Climb the Mountain, Duo Puzzle, Gravity Game, Maze, Relay Race, the Library and the Museum.
Ubisoft’s Discovery Tours are embedded within their popular Assassin’s Creed game. They are immersive educational experiences inspired by the Assassin's Creed worlds that puts narrative and interactivity at the center of the gameplay. There are 3 installments of Discovery Tour to date – Viking Age, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. The episodes take players back to the world being explored, introducing them to both historical figures and original characters as they navigate narrative-driven quests where they experience those ancient worlds from a variety of perspectives.
Minecraft Education Edition
Minecraft has always had an educational component to it but now the Minecraft Education Edition expands into the Metaverse to further engage students in their learning process. There are over 500 lesson plans on a variety of subjects including math, science, computer science, history and culture, language arts, art and design, inclusion, climate sustainability and digital citizenship Each set of lessons features blocky worlds with starter lessons, downloadable worlds, and tutorials, all of which are dedicated to inclusive learning through play. The goal of the Minecraft Education Edition is to help students develop logical thinking and social emotional skills while mastering material.