Good games—as opposed to candy-coated, multiple-choice quiz games—provide immersive experiences for students. Like novels, films, plays, and other media, games can be high-quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum. In my research, classrooms with high-functioning game-based learning are not ones in which the teacher hands a game to students to play. Nor do the teachers gamify their rooms, turning them into a game. Instead, effective game-based classrooms involve each of these components. Students are provided with gameful learning experiences driven by play.
This article discusses various ways gaming can be used in the classroom. Not to be confused with gamification, gaming in the classroom is the use of different types of games to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom.