Video and computer games are usually thought to use for a pure entertainment only, but surprisingly computer and video games are a powerful tool that could benefit in EFL classrooms too! It can stimulate students’ discussion, critical thinking and generate creative ideas. According to Prensky (2005), the reason of using computer and video games in an EFL teaching is because
- Learners have change drastically
- Learners need motivation in their learning process
Video/ computer games used for these purposes include a wide variety of programs which don’t need to be games that have been especially designed for language learners. One of my favourite simulative games has to be Simcity 5, it is like a role play as you are a mayor of a city, and the task is to run a city from scratch by providing residents with water, electricity, jobs, educations, securities and prescription care. It is your choice to turn your city to be a tourist place or a gambling paradise! Or turn your city to be an environmental friendly or a heavy polluted city; I have spent great hours playing this game, it is very addictive too. However, apart from being stimulated and engaged in the game, I have learnt a lot new vocabulary too!! Another thing that just popped up in my head is that games like Simcity 5 allow you to interact with multi players through a message board on the internet (in a real time), you may ask your neighbouring city to provide extra resources such as water, electricity or even services like recycling or police forces!!
Prensky, M. (2005). Computer games and learning: Digital game-based learning. Handbook of computer game studies, 18, 97-122.