The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

should schools use video games to teach subjects?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,665 times Debate No: 38711
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)




I believe they should I mean they already enjoy Vg's or video games at home so this might encourage kids to enjoy school more and give valuable lesson's they'll relate to more


I believe that if you allow students to play video games in school, educational or not, it will give them more of a reason to goof off.

Now, I am a teenager (my profile says I'm 41, but this isn't true.) Just today, we were playing a video game in class that was related to physics. The teacher provided us a work sheet and asked that we answer the questions based off of what was depicted in the video game.

I hardly completed it; I got distracted and started playing the game, and totally forgot about the assignment. I turned it in on time - sloppily, of course. And most of my class didn't complete it.

Looking back, I hardly remember anything that I learned off of participating in that activity.

My point is: the fact that it is a GAME will distract students. They will play the game without benefiting from it, because in their minds the point of a video game is to win. Not to learn anything.

My experience today only deepens my position: video games will distract students. They may enjoy it, and may find school a bit more entertaining; but my problem is whether or not they are learning. This is what my argument is going to be focused on for the next four rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


good point but you have one flaw your teacher used a game to teach you probably a middle school-er physics im talking about math and la not science take minecraft for example if you gave them a sheet requiring them to answer questions like, if one log gives you four planks and each tree has 5 logs how many trees do you need to cut to make a 4x4 house out of planks. stuff that encourages the students to solve complex problems while doing something they already do you cant sluff of homework when your homework uses your pastime right.


I believe that your proposal would bring a reign of inefficiency into our schools.


Imagine how long it would take to complete that problem. They'd have to build an entire house on MineCraft just to solve one problem. And then there is the hassle of getting the program turned on - which may take a few minutes. And you would not be teaching your students the same things at the same time, because not all of them would have access to a computer at that moment.

Teachers would not enjoy this, and although students may find it interesting, it would take forever for them to complete it.

And who would pay for this? Taxpayers? I'm sure those struggling to survive would not approve of their hard-earned money being turned around and used for video games. Also, schools are struggling right now to come up with adequate funds - I'm sure the installation of the equipment used to play MineCraft is pricey.

My argument is that, while students may have fun, there is a good chance that they won't complete their work OR finish it sloppily due to the excitement of playing games such as MineCraft.

Your idea seems like a neat way to improve student involvement - but it isn't time efficient. Students would benefit from a quicker, more efficient system; not a slower system. They would gain more in a classroom that was efficient.

Utilizing games such as MineCraft may seem cool, but in my perspective it is a time-wasting, tax money-spending idea that wouldn't benefit students in the least.
Debate Round No. 2


hashtagmugger forfeited this round.


Oh, I can see that my opponent forfeited. However, I will continue on with this debate to garner the opinions of the voters.

Video games, as I stated previously, will have a negative effect on education. Why?

First, most students associate video games as being "fun". This will encourage learners to have a new idea of the classroom - one that is more "fun" and little hard work is required. It will make students believe that their own personal entertainment is above the hard work required in a classroom.

The opposite should be occurring - we should inform our younger generation that no matter how boring a subject is to them, they should still work hard. This is required in real life, in the work force; bosses don't care about how entertained you while on duty, but how well you do your job. And even if it is a tad boring, they should still work hard and achieve - not complain and whine about it.

Secondly, I would like to restate my opinion on funding for these video games. I don't think those that can't hardly afford essentials would appreciate their tax money being spent on things such as video games. I don't. I think it is a waste of money; we should be spending tax money on teachers' salaries or other such essentials in education. And, currently, most schools are lacking funding, and are introducing budget cuts; how could we afford things such as video games?

"Traditional skills such as critical thinking, reading, writing and math are being forgotten so that shortcuts can be taken and the classroom can be "fun". Let's stick with fulfilling the purpose of schools instead of creating a new one."
-Jilleen Rickard

I extracted this from an article entitled "Video Games are Useless in Education'. I believe that it sums up my argument perfectly. You can find it at:

One last point - before we started to consider student entertainment, the USA was number one in education, in all subjects across the board. But when we began to reshape the classroom to fit the wants of the students, we began to fall behind.

The US is now rated just "average" compared to other nations around the world.

We need to stop reshaping the classroom to fit the students' wants; this includes video games. We need to consider traditional methods of educating our younger generation, and reintroduce those back into the classroom.

Hopefully, voters will see my side of the argument and will consider the negative effects of video games in education.
Debate Round No. 3


i didnt forfeit i forgot that i was arguing with an idiot who believes that you need to play the game no the teacher is simply , using the game as an example you can figure that question out with out the use of a video game its simply peaking the interest of students compelling them to solve the problem with your argument about what will pay for it well some kids might volenteer or teachers but just as the no tolerence policy this will not be usedin every school so only schools who can afford this can use it and yes tax payers its still an education and is still highly supported by our government.


I appreciate your criticisms; I am happy to rebuttal.

1. "i didnt forfeit i forgot that i was arguing with an idiot"

Pardon me and my word usage - however, according to Debate. Org, you did. No matter whether you forgot or you just didn't have enough time is beside the point. When a debater doesn't argue within the indicated time, 4 big, red letters fill the space: hashtagmugger forfeited this round. Sorry for getting off track, but I had to make that clear.

2. " its simply peaking the interest of students compelling them to solve the problem"

As I stated previously, we can't keep shaping the classroom to fit the wants of the students. The workforce does not fit the wants of adults; why should we teach our younger generation that whining can get you anything you want? We need to reintroduce traditional methods of education into schools, methods that were used when our educational rankings in the world were much more substantial. We can't keep taking shortcuts to make sure that the classroom is "fun"; we need to stick with fulfilling the purpose of schools instead of creating a new one. I pulled that statement from Jilleen Rickard's quote.

3. "with your argument about what will pay for it well some kids might volenteer or teachers"

I want to emphasize that word - might. This is what your entire argument is based on. Students, or teachers, might volunteer to buy these video games. They might learn from these games. Your argument isn't full proof - might does not mean 100%. Your argument is based on assumption. Mine is based on tried-and-proved methods of educating our students. No one can deny education was better before the students' wants were considered.

4. "yes tax payers its still an education and is still highly supported by our government."

Let's spend tax money on proved methods of educating our students. Let's spend our tax money on the hiring of more teachers, which will get class sizes small, which, in turn, ensures that our younger generation is well-educated. Let's spend our tax money on bettering our school environments - new textbooks, etc. These things have been proved to help students with their learning.

Introducing video games will require more budget cuts to an already cut budget. Teachers are being laid off, textbooks can't be replaced. Our budgets are already too small to afford the essentials - how could we afford video games for every class in every school?

And is it really supported by the government? Provide me some proof. And don't let it be partisan - let it be an unbiased support that is between both liberals and conservatives.

In closing, I want to apologize if I offended you. I'm glad you didn't completely forfeit - this debate topic excites me, and I think it excites the voters. Perhaps they can decide on who has more logic when it comes to this topic.
Debate Round No. 4


and im sorry for calling you an idiot but still schools are wasting their money on other things like my school appliances for the teachers lounge fancy new deck especially for teachers to use after school and on lunch break but the students cant re thing our school uses a bbc typing game (dancemat typing) to teach us typing so we can learn for our tcaps what we should do instead is use typing of the dead a fun typing game which teaches you quick responsive typing skills.


Your argument makes little sense to me.

First off, you may believe what your school has bought with taxpayer money is not beneficial - however, this is an opinion. Administration might see a need for appliances, desks, books, etc. If this is your argument on the topic of funding for video games, it is an opinion not backed up by fact.

I am going to sum up my argument so that the voters may understand my stance a little bit better.

Bringing video games into the school will not benefit students, or at least their grades, in the least. It will persuade them to have a different view of the classroom, one that is a "fun" environment rather than a learning environment. My stance is that we need to stop reshaping the classroom to fit the entertainment needs of students - instead, we need to reintroduce traditional methods that have provided us with much better scores in the past.

This past - say, pre-1970 - was one that provided a much better education for children. The USA was the highest in the world across the board - math, reading, physical education, you name it. Teachers were stricter on students. Students had a clear idea of what "respect" meant. It was a great time for American education.

Starting in the 70's, educators began to reshape the classroom - and not in a way that made it stricter. They introduced the value of student entertainment - which has proved to have a negative effect on the state of the American education system. Video games fall under this category.

Today, the USA is rated "average" compared to many other world leaders.

What made the classroom convert to a "fun" environment? Students began to whine - and ultimately got what they wanted: a more-laid back, "fun" classroom.

But grades - in all subjects - have been slipping. The classroom is less strict, and students don't treat their teachers with as much respect. It is a shame that this has happened to the once-world leader in education.

We can't let this go on. Again, I say that we need to reintroduce traditional methods of teaching in the classroom. These "fun" ways of doing things need to be redesigned, rethought. And, unfortunately, video games do not need to be a method of teaching in our classrooms.

Video games will further increase this image of "fun" within a class environment - while students goof off and don't truly play the game to understand it. They play it to go onto the next level, and then forget what they learned. They'll only play to play. They won't play to learn.

And, public funding for video games seems inappropriate to me, at least in this economy - when our schools have tight budgets and are laying off teachers, you want to further these budget cuts? No. Small class sizes is a proved way to improve grades and increase student understanding. Video games are not.

My opponent argued that our government strongly supports the use of video games in schools, but failed to cite anything that would agree with this.

So, voters, it is your ultimate decision - do you vote for the argument that is inconsistent and shaky, or the argument that is more factual and pro-proved methods. Whether it is the finical side of the argument that you vote for, or the role of video games in education, please vote for the debater that uses logic over opinion. Vote for the debater that uses proved methods of educating students to back up his argument. Vote for the argument that is true.

Thank you, hastagmugger for debating with me. I look forward to the feedback from the voters. I'm sure we will receive a lot.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Pmff 1 year ago
I'm annoyed that the person who was on the pro side didn't seem to do any background research or anything. I'm writing an essay about the merits of videogames in education, and I have found a bunch of arguments to go against what the person for con was saying.
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
I don't think that it would be expensive at all. For one thing, it wouldn't be feasible to have the most high tech graphics and sound, so you probably would have to do it more on the level of some online games. Considering that many actual online games are done by one or two programmers that work other full-time jobs at the same time and considering the hourly rate that most programmers in the video game world are actually paid, to commission such a thing wouldn't be nearly as expensive as you might think.

If the standard curriculum requirements were taken into account as the foundation for creating the game, you could have a rather large number of schools (with multiple classes in each school) using the same game for the same subjects at the same grade level. Considering the average class size is about 20-30 students, even if many students didn't participate there is no reason to believe that the expenses would not be covered. Besides, the schools could price the games according to cost and projected number of buyers which would be a short survey to parents and students before hand and a fairly easy calculation.

If they found through the survey that not enough students would participate to cover the costs (which I HIGHLY doubt) then they could simply discontinue the program before even spending any money, though, it is FAR more likely that the schools would make a profit off of this idea. I highly doubt that most students would be against playing video games instead of doing "traditional" homework and a letter from the school guaranteeing parents that their children would not be allowed to progress unless they show a comprehensive understanding of the subject would probably be enough to get many parents on board. If anything, this program would mean more money for schools and education, not less. If this program did turn a profit (and I suspect that it has the potential to turn a heavy profit), then you might see an increase in quality of education overall.
Posted by Chunkymilk 3 years ago
A game for every class would cost a lot.
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
I'm actually quite disappointed in how this debate has progressed. Studies have shown that video games can improve memory, critical thinking skills, multitasking ability, response speed, as well as other mental skills and abilities depending on the intention and content of the game. Also, studies have shown that enjoyment and direct interaction in learning activities can improve memory and retention dramatically and video games provide both of these things. Also, video games provide an opportunity to apply skills and information to similar-to-life situations and studies have shown that application to real life situations improves memory and retention of information dramatically as well.

People's only real complaint against video games in education is that they have been used mostly for entertainment rather than personal growth and improvement in the past and that we should make no efforts to make learning an enjoyable activity because that somehow "demeans" education, although exactly how this is so remains undefined. Neither is a very good argument.

Also, it wouldn't be hard to implement in a way that does not take any money from school funding. For instance, if programmers and designers where commissioned to program a video game that is very entertaining, but also teaches the curriculum of the subject for the class. Then the teacher could give a paper for students to take home to their parents explaining the possible educational value of the game and the subjects that it teaches. The letter could also mention that, if the game is purchased, the student could use it as a replacement for "traditional" homework and quizzes and that the game will not let them progress until the student has proved sufficient understanding of the material. Parents could then opt whether or not to buy the game. Done in this way, not only will the schools easily recover the programers' commission, but they could easily make a profit and still make them quite affordable. Everybody w
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
Part 2 (see part 1 below)

So, for instance, imagine a final fantasy game where you have to solve simple math problems in the battle systems in order to fight, cast spells, or defend. Then the game requires you to at least be level 10 before you are allowed to approach the boss. Or say that a game is actually placed in the renaissance and, although the story for the game is original, you have to learn dates and names and repeat the information to other characters later in order to progress the story or such. If game designers became truly inventive, they could probably find even better ways to seamlessly integrate skill building and the memorizing of information without losing very much entertainment value. I've had plenty of games where I had to solve puzzles or repeat useless game-related information in order to progress. Why not switch out such things for information and skills that are actually useful in the real world?

It really can't be that hard to do. Yes, you would have to have more drilling and problem solving for the students to build the skill or learn the information, but it could still be very entertaining if done by professional computer programmers who make a living out of making fun and entertaining games rather than educators with a talent for sucking the fun and enjoyment out of anything and everything.
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
I actually have thought about this very idea and think that it is fantastic. The problem with educational video games in the past is that they either just drilled the student in exercises (not very entertaining AT ALL, or at least not any more than doing exercises out of a text book or in class) or they have the educational material as a side-note (as has been spoken of in the debate).

In order for this concept to work, I propose that new video games be created solely for educational purposes. People are more than willing to memorize information and solve puzzles in order to progress in a game (in fact some people will go to almost any extent and spend any number of hours to beat a level and complete all the side quests and find all the secret items, etc.). If puzzles and problems where placed directly into the game and the player was not allowed to progress until they had shown sufficient skill and knowledge to prove an understanding of the subject (just as efficient as quizzes or tests), then all a teacher would have to do is place a requirement that the students "pass level two and three" for tonight's assignment or "get as far as the town of Zemlock and use the save point there".

If the games was programed specifically for this purpose, then the program could easily send a signal itself to the teacher's inbox to let the teacher know that the assignment had been completed. If done in this way, the students would simply be unable to bypass the learning process because they would be unable to progress in the game and therefor unable to finish their assignment to get the class credits. But there would also be an incentive that doesn't exist in current classroom situations. Learning would be much more fun and enjoyable for everyone. Even if someone were to hack to send the teacher false assignment completions, this would be no more dangerous than copying or other current means of cheating and the student would still fail tests and get bad grades as a result.
Posted by Chunkymilk 3 years ago
How would you possibly make a video game that helps students and that is fun.
Posted by hashtagmugger 3 years ago
cum on go pro if your still in school wouldnt you want a reason not to fall asleep
Posted by jvava 3 years ago
Natethefirst, are you saying you support me? Because if you are, that's great! :)
Posted by NateTheFirst 3 years ago
Go con
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro should have won this debate. He needed to provide a few examples of successful application of software in the video genre that has taught successfully, and that would establish that it ought to be used as part of teaching. However, Pro only argued that there ought to be such application, not that there were any. That's not enough. Pro's S&G was so poor as to make is arguments hard to follow, and he lost conduct for forfeiting and for insulting has opponent. A great deal has been written on this subject, but neither side had any references. Search something like "video games used as teaching tools" to find useful sources.