It is easier and easier to cheat understanding with all the access of the internet. In one of the forums I'm part of, someone tried to use it to get answers for their homework instead of generating their own ideas by reading up on the matter. Being a nerd and part of a "diploma" factory and a friend who is working in my alma matter trying to teach Game Design and theory, I find it highly annoying to learn that out of 40+ students, only 10% is actually really interested in gaming and the rest are in it for the "easy" grade just because the term GAME is in the preface to the subject matter.
In the Philippines, there is no serious course for Game Theory or Game Design, and such disrespect for the subject matter is only natural given how education has really degraded in the country. because of government spending targeting the middle class, which can already afford education instead of the Struggling and Poor education is taken for granted by those who can easily afford it. The value of education goes down when Colleges like my alma mater are there to catch drop outs, and the general attitude where meritocracy doesn't matter as much as family and connections makes for a slothful professional environment over all and instigates the countries brain drain.
Looking forward, the only way to prevent "cheating" understanding is by making education more practical, hands on, more quickly gratifying, and less frustrating. That is where gaming will be in the future, I presume. The future is for the Parents who use gaming or who communicate the attitude that learning and Nerdy knowledge is fun to their children despite the stress and problems of their own educational systems.
My economic lessons have also made me aware of Americas metrics regarding education. (source Timothy Tailor) I admire that America is still one of the Highest spender to education in the world, and still generates most of the technological advance. From an economic and strategic perspective, Government spending on Social Goods are always subject to economies of scale. The Progress to more accountable and publicly efficient kind of health care services and social projects is what will improve the educational turn out and not just throwing money at education. The point of diminishing returns has been reached with some aspects of education, and resources is best reallocated to other tertiary or adjunct problems where the returns are much greater and complimentary.
Like in Neo-confucianism, All good must be tackled in the same time follows an a practical economic truth and not just a philosophical one. Families that benefit from government social good will bring down the cost of parental involvement in helping in children and their education... this also includes the parent's own pursuit of education and knowledge.
I envy the american school system that allows even the poorest a good quality education and a fighting chance to change their quality of life. As for the Philippines, distractions are abundant in politics, theocracy, rabble rouser, and terrorists.
The only chance my own kids will ever have at a decent education is If I am a mega nerd take a lot of time to communicate my value for knowledge, learning, details and enthusiasm through gaming. In the end, after the complication of economic, political and social challenges Gaming will win out as the best chance the next generation has.
*yes my alma matter was admittedly design to cater to the rejects of colleges, like myself. In a crystallized education system LONG outdated those who do not conform to the Parroting Text and teachers who ask their students to do Collages of the subject matter. Thats what happens when social justice has been ignored, and throwing money at education was the preferential expense. Over time, injustice adds up and inequality arises. Those who thrive on top has the least to gain from public education and have very few people to keep them accountable.
When america came and gave us universal education, through public schools, our entrenched oligarchy would eventually eat away the benefits of a more education and active population when they left. Social justice is not socialism, its accountability for a fairer system not punishing the Innovators as people who demonize sides or those who seek to profit from the power-shift would advertise.
Got the idea to write this after reading my Criminology for Dummies by Steven Briggs and how Gaming and Economics factored into it. Gaming is so powerful and educational tool, its nice to know there is a growing interest in it in blogs about Game Theory, Cognitive Bias (Dan Ariely's Blog), and Psychology (Psychology of Video Games).
Bore the hell out of people with Criminology for Dummies in your Games :P Useful knowledge that can protect you, happens to fun, and is useful to pass on.