Educational entertainment (also referred to by the portmanteau neologism edutainment) is content designed to educate through entertainment. It includes content that is primarily educational but has incidental entertainment value, and content that is mostly entertaining but contains educational value.
Games fulfill a number of educational purposes. Some games may be explicitly designed with education in mind, while others may have incidental or secondary educational value. All types of games, including board, card, and video games, may be used in an educational environment. Educational games are designed to teach people about certain subjects, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play.
In this Wikipedia article there are a rich reference list and lots of examples about the edutainment.
According to Van Eck (2006), there are three reasons why games are considered learning tools: 1. Ongoing research that has included the last 20 years of educational findings have proven that digital games can be educational; 2. The new generation of today wants “multiple streams of information” (p. 1), which includes quick and frequent interaction that allows inductive reasoning; and 3. The mere popularity of games has created a billion-dollar industry. The idea of playing a game assumes the person is engaging in that activity by choice. The activity should have some value of “fun”. This does not mean that the person is engaging in the activity only for leisure pursuits; it can also include the desire to learn a skill, connect with other gamers (social community), and spend time in a chosen activity. The activity needs to remain one of choice for the gamer.
While creating Waphoo: The Game, and it’s mini games, especially the Burger Rush and Lingoo, out main thought was how to make something that will benefit to the kids. And our language packs are exactly this – a fun and entertaining way to learn something new.