Playing video games is a popular hobby among many teenagers and young adults in Singapore, as demonstrated by a survey conducted in 2020. The majority of the respondents who answered yes to playing online games were aged between 16 to 24 years old.
As this interactive entertainment continues to capture the hearts and minds of young Singaporeans, it would not be a surprise to find that a significant portion of them have a desire to create their own video games in the future. If your child has similar ambitions and excels at math, they may be delighted to learn that math plays a vital role in game development.
You may even be surprised at this revelation, but it is true! Math is a crucial subject with various applications in our daily lives, and video game development is one of them. From game physics to the animations of the characters, everything utilises math to a certain degree. Let us share more about the various applications of math in video games.
Applications of math in video games
The most important priority for a video game is to be fun, and sometimes that means faking the math to accommodate the design of a game. However, a lot of the time the math in video games mimic real-world math principles and physics.
If you ask your child to reflect on their favourite video games, they can likely cite various instances of mathematical concepts being applied to these games. From determining the spread of a shotgun blast in Call of Duty to calculating the angle to tackle the ball without committing a foul in FIFA, these are just some of the basic math principles that various video games utilise.
These applications of mathematical concepts can go even further in major video game productions, as there are various more complex and advanced math principles that often require complex game engines to compute the calculations. Some of the main branches of math that you can commonly see in game development include:
There is no denying that math allows game developers to bring incredible ideas to life in a way that is not feasible in the real world. Without it, your child would be spending the majority of the time admiring the pretty graphics of the latest video game without anything substantial to interact with. So the next time your child questions the importance of paying attention in their secondary math tuition classes, you now have a witty answer to their query.
How video games can help with math
Your child will undoubtedly be delighted to learn that video games can help them improve their math skills. Of course, this would not work with every video game, so it is crucial to select the right one – and that does not necessarily refer to only math games.
But why do we believe that video games can help with math? Firstly, it is vital to note that math is more than just a subject; it is an activity. Similar to riding a bicycle, the concept of practice makes perfect is fundamental to excelling in math. It is not merely a subject that can be learned by reading a book or sitting in a lecture.
The challenge is in getting your child to be interested in practising his math skills. Homework and math tuition are crucial components that can contribute to a good grade. However, it is common to find many children displaying disinterest towards them. So why not leverage your child’s interest in video games?
Studies have shown that the majority of video games are known to engage the frontal lobes of our brains, which are primarily responsible for processes like executive functions. These skills allow children to apply the math knowledge they already possess and build on it to acquire new math skills.
Video games also help children develop a knack for planning and problem solving, which are crucial skills needed for solving math questions. For example, the classic game Tetris requires players to move and rotate falling geometric pieces to form complete rows at the bottom of the game board to score points.
This game requires players to plan out the pieces in advance while figuring out the ideal spot to place the different pieces to avoid overwhelming the game board. By playing the game, children can also learn about various other mathematical concepts, such as horizontal and vertical lines, angles, arcs, and perpendiculars, which are fundamental to geometry.
Some parents may bemoan their children spending a significant amount of time on video games, which may negatively impact their grades. While this is certainly true to a degree, we should not discount the possibility of integrating video games into our children’s learning process and the various benefits they can bring.
However, this does not mean your child has carte blanche to play video games all day – as with anything, moderation is key. So the next time your child is taking a breather after their math tuition classes, don’t begrudge them an opportunity for some gaming time. After all, with the right game, the gaming session can turn out to be beneficial to them.
At Pamela’s Place Tuition, we cater our classes to various levels – from O Level math tuition to H2 math tuition. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our tuition classes, feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.