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Play is one of the fundamental ways in which humans learn. Video games, like games in general, are inherently educational, but they still haven’t quite taken off in the classroom. Many teachers remain dismissive of video games, or outright hostile toward them. They don’t recognize the value of video games as teaching tools. But according to the three individuals on the “Educational Video Gaming for the Millennial Generation” panel at PAX East 2014, there are plenty of ways to bring video games into the classroom and use them to augment the traditional curriculum.

Erin Ryan (above right), a master’s degree candidate at Boston University and a history teacher, discussed The Oregon Trail as a prototypical educational game: It allows students to play a role in a historical story and get invested in characters, and teaches them about the hardships that the travelers on the Oregon Trail actually faced.

there are plenty of ways to bring video games into the classroom

Her husband, Andrew Ryan (above left), a business analyst at Boston University, noted that educational gaming remains a small segment of the game industry. That’s partly because the business of gaming is focused on making titles that prioritize gameplay and story above all; …read more