Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

If we were to conduct a brief poll, we could possibly come to the conclusion that it is definitely more tempting to crush candy in a saga-like format than it is to crack open the ol’ algebra textbook from 9th grade. In fact, let’s do just that:


With more and more people possessing the ability to access the most modern forms of entertainment on their smart phones and tablets, voluntary “educational” experiences seem to be taking a back seat. But what if that weren’t necessarily true? What if smartphones are being wrongfully accused of being “the bad guy”, when the content people are being served is the true villian!

research-paper-vs-internet-comic
Comic by Asher Sarlin ©2008

But seriously, have you ever watched an episode of Wild Kingdom, where a litter of lion cubs wrestle and chase each other all over the place? All that pouncing and nibbling seems like a game, but in fact, this is how lions learn how to do, well… lion things! This behavior is known as play-learning, and humans do it too.

Now, instead of conducting another poll, just ask yourself: “Would I rather enjoy learning about something that feels enjoyable and rewarding, or voluntarily trudge through a heavy topic that I know is valuable, but feels like crap. Of course you’d pick the fun one! That’s how we’re wired.

When the right energy and mentality is applied, learning doesn’t feel like a chore. In fact, we retain more information and perform better when the learning process is enjoyable. (Shout out to that one awesome teacher from back in high school!)

That being said, there are tons of mobile games that help us learn – whether we know it or not! The key to success is to enhance the player’s experience without getting in the way of fun. Since games are a voluntary activity, people have their guard down and expect to have a good time. The perfect time to strike!

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