Can video games improve your typing?
Currently I am working on the book about indirect learning. At the same time I am not only writing and researching the concept of mixing entertainment with education, but also taking experiments to understand if it is effective or not.
I’ve decided to check if my typing can be improved just by playing video game. There are quite a few games which teaches you typing, and also many online courses and lessons which implement games in their education program. Yet most of them are primary exercises in a form of games. Which is good idea but I am looking for something that concentrates primary on recreational activity and secondary on learning. It’s important because such games reach broader audience and not necessarily those who want to improve anything. Unfortunately as soon as you put “edutainment” tag on the game it will reduce it’s reach by wast amount, most of the people want to play games just for fun or relaxation, not learning. So the game I was looking for shouldn’t position itself as education that much, where improving any kind of skills should come only as a secondary task, like a hidden germ.
One more important point it shouldn’t be directed for children, since most of the edutainment today is made for kids, and in my project I concentrate on adults.
I’ve found perfect match for my requirements, the game called Epistory, it has beautiful graphic, story-line and also haven’t promote itself that much as educational.
My plan was simple :
Firstly I will take online typing test to determine my level, then I will complete the game from beginning to end, and will take test again to see if there are any improvements. Important part is to play this game only once, as would any regular player do and to see if it will have any effect on my skills.
Please have a look at the video I’ve made with the whole process :
It took me 9 hours to complete the game. Which is not much for improving any kind of skill, and I was a bit skeptical if it will make any difference. But results showed differently.
At first I’ve took 6 different tests, for 1, 3, and 5 minutes and for 1, 2 & 3 pages. My average speed was 48 WPM (words per minute), after playing the game I’ve did better on all of the 6 tests with an average speed of 51 WPM. Which might seems not significant unless you compare the typing time. After playing the game it took me 1 minute less to finish all “page tests” ! And that was very good results, because I think that’s on of the points of improving your typing, so that you can save your time by doing it faster.
The game forces you not to look on the keyboard when you play, otherwise it will be hard to progress trough it, and after completing the game I can type without looking on my keyboard, although I do it quite slowly. Also I’ve felt that if I would play much longer then my skills would become even better. During the playtime I haven’t felt that I am learning, I was deeply in the game, and that’s perfect achievement from the developers side.
To conclude , I am very satisfied with the results which proves my point about indirect learning, and especially about such approach when user might not be (or shouldn’t be) aware about secondary effect of the game, as in this example of improving typing. First of all It’s game for you to play, and as a bonus you will upgrade your skills.
Why such approach is so important?
I will explain it in detail in my book, right now I will continue with more experiments.
I am musician and video maker, trying to understand how can we create more sane and equal world for everyone. I write books and blogs, support various projects like TROM. My main area of interest is entertainment industry, especially edutainment and social impact activities.