A new report conducted by research firm Futurelab and supported by Electronic Arts suggests that commercial computer games could act as effective learning tools in the classroom.
The report, which is titled Teaching With Games, argues that games can be used to motivate and engage students, and to improve computer skills, strategic thinking and problem solving.
However, the report also highlights technical obstacles which prevent teachers from using games in their lessons - suggesting that new approaches are needed when it comes to licensing and copy protection so that games can be run on school networks.
"We have long recognised the potential of interactive computer games to stimulate the learning process... [The report] has shown that commercial computer games have the potential to support education, which has raised the bar for ongoing collaboration between the industry and education sectors," commented EA's Gerhard Florin.
The Teaching With Games initiative, which is also supported by Microsoft and Take-Two, was established in August 2005. Two Ipsos MORI polls were published, focusing on students' and teachers' attitudes to games in the classroom, and 12 case studies were conducted using The Sims 2, Knights of Honour and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.
The full report can be downloaded from the Futurelab website.