Jitesh Jariwala, Game Producer, Unleash Games (A Venture from K12 Techno Services)

Mr Jitesh Jariwala has been playing video games and card games since his childhood. He learned Game Development & Game Designing with child-like curiosity and started working as a professional without any degree like most game developers across the country. He has been constantly learning about how to make an enjoyable experience, especially through digital mediums. Mr Jitesh wants to bring a positive impact on education with the help of digital games.

 

The previous generation has mostly grown up with a stigma towards digital games. In an age where affordable technology was rare and playing in an open space like playgrounds and parks were more preferred, all of us grew up thinking that being glued to the screen will not be productive which in turn will affect the future. Aren’t we all used to thinking that an achiever always has to be someone with an ability to sacrifice screen time, playgrounds, or time with friends as it will make us intelligent and successful? Now, so many years down the line with the benefits of technology as clear as it can be, don’t you think that our judgments were short-sighted and perhaps blind to the other side of the coin?

Gaming is no longer a distraction as we previously thought it to be. You, your child, or any player, gaming gives the opportunity to interact with circumstances, other players and work towards a specific goal or mission. Impressive visuals and background music also contribute to increasing the level of concentration that our otherwise seemingly boring surroundings often fail to provide. This virtual platform over time has proven to be a more engaging environment. Even failing a task or completing a level is fun when playing a game, plus we enjoy it more when our siblings or friends fail and the truth is the feeling is mutual. This is because in such an involving space even mistakes are fun and overcoming them is enticing. We are not scared to fail when we learn through gaming. Gaming is an evolutionary step in education especially as you learn better when the concepts become more enjoyable and the reward system involved in gaming helps you to push through any challenges.

When children learn through books, notes, and blackboards, they often struggle with a lack of purpose. Though not always consciously, our instincts keep on asking us – ‘why are we doing this?’, ‘moving ahead, where is it going to take us?’. Losing enthusiasm and focus often become unavoidable. Educational games on the contrary often use concepts like math, science, general knowledge, etc to take the story of the game forward. So, even before your children are doing a subtraction problem on screen, they already know why they are solving it. 

Gaming, thus, is a practical way of learning. It is a problem-solving technique that you as a player practice in your game world. A boy on a road has to sort different geometrical shapes that are blocking his way in order to progress forward. This is a practical problem. We in our daily lives are often met with such humble troubles. Centuries ago in gurukuls, a child learned how to bring down edible fruits from the tree by using a bow and arrow; today in an educational game a child can learn how the transfer of heat takes place while boiling water. As Gurukulas taught them to find pragmatic solutions, gaming in a similar way provides clarity on processes that are a part of everyday life.  

In India, with the booming Ed-tech industry, gaming is increasingly coming to the forefront as a serious learning tool. While the perception of gaming as a distraction hasn’t been completely wiped out yet, the inclusion of educational games as a mandatory part of the curriculum by reputed schools clearly shows the change in mindset that has taken place and the positive route that lies ahead.

Related Articles