Overwhelmingly, gaming has been associated with recreation. Even from the very first video games, including Pong and later Space Invaders, there was an emphasis on immersion. The better the video game, the more players were likely to forget the world around them and focus on the task at hand. Fast forward a few decades and gaming has diversified greatly.
In fact, one of the latest buzzwords in the gaming world is gamification. This concept has been around for years and was mainly developed by educators. The idea is simple—turn any subject into a game in order to make the concepts introduced more memorable. Certain professions, from surgeons to pilots (more on this below), could even learn formal lessons using simulation games.
As gamification becomes more mainstream, we can expect to see even more projects that bridge learning tough subjects with gaming mechanics. But what about games that naturally introduce players to brainy concepts?
Are they all the result of carefully crafted gamification, or are some games simply better at teaching than others? Let’s take a closer look at all types of video games and how they impart handy knowledge.
Blackjack, or 21, is a centuries-old card game that requires players to have a sound knowledge of math and probability. While this game is traditionally played in casinos, it’s now more widely played online. In fact, deals from online casinos for US players all offer this popular card game, which makes getting started easy.
As you cut your teeth, your brain will start to juggle complex mathematical equations, along with developing your probability and analytical skills. If you want to get started flexing your blackjack skills online, remember to always check how many decks of cards are being used, as this will inform your approach.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator has been around since 1977. At the time, the game’s focus was on closely simulating flight—and this realism has since become the focus of the game. In fact, the game takes such a straightforward approach to mechanics and planes that the program is used to help educate student pilots.
But it’s also a great deal of fun for those who have no interest in manning a real-life plane. (And don’t worry, there are plenty of tutorials that simplify getting started.)
Kerbal Space Program
Sticking with the theme of flight, let’s take things to the farthest reaches of space. In Kerbal Space Program, players are responsible for managing a space program helmed by tiny green aliens (or Kerbals). But to do so, they need to know a thing or two about actual astrophysics, from orbital rendezvous to Hohmann transfers.
The game is so realistic that it’s been commended by NASA and Rocket Lab. Though the graphics leave something to be desired, it’s a highly realistic space simulation game.
North American gamers might not be too familiar with Football Manager, a management simulation that lets players take on the role of manager for Europe’s football teams. To say that it’s a hit might be a bit of an understatement—but just because this game is popular, that doesn’t mean it’s a breeze. To succeed, players must juggle almost as many considerations as real-life managers like Jurgen Klopp.
Along the way, they’ll be sharpening their analytical skills, foresight, financial management, tactical strategy, and much more. Think of it like a fantasy league on overdrive, where every single decision has far-reaching ramifications.
Let’s round off our list with one of the most celebrated puzzle games on the market: The Witness. In this game, players have very little information to start off with—all they can do is explore an island that is full of manmade and natural formations.
Slowly but surely, puzzles provide clues into symbols, and these provide context that paints a larger picture of what’s happening on the island. Sounds a bit abstract and challenging?
In the end, this is the entire point of the game—to challenge players to communicate and comprehend using non-verbal cues.
It’s important to note, please engage in gambling responsibly and adhere to the applicable local laws and regulations.