Despite our best efforts to teach, we struggle to memorise 150 facts for an exam. But remembering specific details of 150 pokémon after playing one of the games comes naturally to us. Every year millions of students are wrestling with mathematics, despite being able to navigate the subtle interactions in complex skill trees, recall the location of hidden treasure in a vast world, and carefully plan how to spend valuable points to maximise their effectiveness in battle.
Games can't replace traditional education. But through thoughtful and purposeful design, they can be incredibly powerful tools to strengthen and speed up the learning process - teaching us intuitive understanding faster and more effectively than almost anything else. Harnessing this to learn real life skills is difficult, but incredibly powerful when done well.