Podcast 33: Using Games to Develop Mental Skills

Modern video games are complicated and require a lot of learning, problem solving, memory, planning, and other things that psychologists might identify as executive functions of the brain. There’s a lot going on between our ears whenever we play.

And wouldn’t it be great if some of those mental gymnastics were part of a program that helped us deal with more mundane but probably more important tasks outside of games? Stuff like school, work, and interacting with other people? Can you connect game-based learning and practice of these skills with “real life” skills? Might, for example, learning how to equip a party in preparation for a dungeon run in an RPG or plotting out the space and material you will need for some huge structure in Minecraft help you develop strategies for planning out your week at school or cooperating with your friends on some big project?

Might this kind of thing be especially useful for certain people, like kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or who are on the autism spectrum? But even if so, can parents and other caregivers go too far and neglect other types of play that are also important?

These are the types of questions that I’m going to talk about with this episode’s guest expert, Dr. Randy Kulman of Learningworksforkids.com.

This week’s guest, Dr. Randy Kulman

About This Episode’s Guest:

Audio Credits:

  • Robot Motivation” by The Polish Ambassador, licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
  • “Groove Groove” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker main theme

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