13 Jan 2023


Games with Impact – The Best Games that Make a Difference

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Coursework

Words: 1149

Pages: 4

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Video games remain among the most divisive issues today. On the one hand are those who feel that video games are a vital tool for entertainment. On the other hand, there are some who argue that video games, especially the violent type, fuels aggressive and violent behavior. Personally, I feel that video games are an essential instrument for learning. My perspective on these games informed my choice of the article to review for this assignment. I opted to read and discuss the highly insightful article that Stephanie Pappas (2019 authored. In this article, Pappas adopts what some may find to be an unpopular opinion. She presents video games as tremendously beneficial and calls for their integration into the school curriculum. Given that I am an avid video game player, I find that Pappas’ observations and views are valid and underscore the crucial role that video games can play in learning. Apart from the fact that I find video games to be enriching and entertaining, the decision to read Pappas’ article was also informed by a personal desire to gain deeper insights into the remarkable impact of these games. When I set out to engage with the article, I had hoped to better understand how video games are being used to promote medication adherence and to impart essential life skills. The article is immensely interesting and would benefit any individual who wishes to expand or challenge their views on video games.


The main issue that Pappas (2019) addresses in the article is how video games are being used in non-traditional settings and for novel purposes. She begins her discussion by shedding light on how “Re-mission” a shooter-type video game is being exploited by medical practitioners to promote medication adherence. According to Pappas (2019), the practitioners have witnessed a significant improvement in adherence. In fact, a study aimed at determining if the game actually encourages individuals to follow medication instructions was conducted. The results of the study are indeed surprising and exciting. As Pappas (2019) reports, the participants who played the game were far more likely than those in the control group to take their cancer medications and comply fully with instructions. This finding is indeed crucial as it underscores the vital role that video games can play in medicine.

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Pappas (2019) extends her discussion beyond the application of video games in healthcare. She also highlights how video games are being incorporated into learning. She cites a number of studies which have established that carefully designed video games can facilitate the teaching of various skills. For instance, Pappas (2019) describes a study which examined how participants responded to a game that required them to resolve the crisis pitting Israel against Palestine. The researchers behind the study noted that after playing the game, the participants became more knowledgeable about the crisis and questioned the notions that they had held. Furthermore, Pappas notes that the participants in the study were able to better understand why the authorities in Israel and Palestine resort to strategies that seem extreme or unreasonable. Another study that Pappas (2019) discusses sought to guide players in being empathetic to autistic children. In essence, Pappas (2019) makes it clear that video games are a simple yet highly effective instrument for teaching vital skills and competencies.

While she maintains that video games are remarkably useful, Pappas (2019) also cautions that these games can have adverse impacts. She provides the example of a poorly-designed game which was intended to encourage empathy. Instead of delivering this outcome, the video game actually made participants less sympathetic. According to Pappas (2019), the main lesson that this particular game offers is that for video games to have a positive impact, they should be designed carefully. Overall, Pappas (2019) endorses video games and appears to suggest that they should be approached with greater acceptance.

Applying lessons from video games to the school context is yet another issue that Pappas (2019) explores in the article. In addition to advising educators to integrate games into curricula, she also notes that video games present lessons for assessment. Basically, Pappas (2019) proposes that video games should replace the traditional assessment methods. For example, she recommends that teachers should observe students play video games to determine if they have acquired skills and lessons that they can apply to real life situations. Pappas (2019) suggests that since they actually evaluate if students have acquired the expected competencies, video games are a superior assessment tool compared to such methods as pen-and-paper exams on which teachers continue to rely. Furthermore, she cites scholars who have observed that as an assessment instrument, video games alleviate the stress and anxiety that students often experience when taking traditional exams. Another benefit that she points out is that unlike conventional assessment which can be culturally-biased, video games appeal to all students, regardless of their cultural background.

Some of the claims that Pappas (2019) presents in her article are rather bold and difficult to believe. Among these assertions is that video games can play a crucial role in increasing the representation of marginalized student populations in such academic fields as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To substantiate this claim, Pappas (2019) presents the views of experts who believe that video games are making complex scientific concepts more accessible and easier to understand. These experts have also determined that video games are helping schools to address the gender disparity in STEM subjects. Pappas (2019) also argues that video games can be tailored to meet the unique needs of such populations as autistic students or individuals struggling with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. There is no question that the benefits of video games can be enjoyed by all, even those with conditions that would otherwise make it difficult for them to learn.

As she wraps up, Pappas (2019) discusses the impact that video games can have on molding students to become active participants in civic matters. She describes a particular game that introduces players to the Bill of Rights. Another game on which she sheds lights challenges players to apply the law to the trial of members of the Nazi regime. While these games are delivered through a light platform, the lessons that they deliver are vastly significant. They guide players to take a keen interest in such issues as civic liberties and the electoral process. While she praises video games as the key to learning, Pappas (2019) decries the lack of preparedness in schools. She suggests that schools are not set to enrich the learning experience through video games.

In conclusion, there is no question that Pappas’ article is remarkably insightful. Through the article, she highlights the revolutionary impact that video games are having on medicine and education. She insists that when students are provided with opportunities to safely and responsibly interact with video games, they acquire essential skills that enable them to solve the real-life problems that they encounter. I fully agree with Pappas. I believe that video games can be a force for good. Infact, I have personally experienced tremendous positive growth thanks to video games. For instance, I believe that video games have helped to enhance my problem solving and critical thinking skills. I am confident that the games can deliver similar benefits for others. While Pappas’ entire article was informative, there are some issues that I found to be particularly interesting. Among these issues is how video games are helping students to better understand such issues as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Usually, video games portray lighter and less serious themes. Now, thanks to Pappas’ article, I know that video games can be used to spark conversations over more substantial subjects. Since it has left me enlightened, I would highly recommend Pappas’ article.


Pappas, S. (2019). Games with impact. American Psychological Association. Retrieved February 22, 2020 from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/09/games-impact

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Games with Impact – The Best Games that Make a Difference.


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