Software games in schools can be extremely beneficial to learning. When used in a purely instructional manner, these games motivate students to spend more time on a given topic, as well as challenge students to compete and win, and allow them to practice skills in a fun an entertaining way. Graphic displays in software games help students to visualize abstract concepts and understand how to solve problems. This can make a big difference in areas such as mathematics, especially with students who may be more visual learners (like myself). Studies have shown that students are more likely to practice problem-solving skills in activities they find interesting, and what a better way to implement this than through games. Software games make knowledge and skills more meaningful by showing students how information applies to actual problems. This helps prevent inert knowledge.
A personal example I have, that shows the benefits of software games, comes from a computer class I had in elementary school. My class was learning how to type more efficiently, and we were taught this through a game called Type to Learn. Everyone loved this game and anticipated getting to play it every week. I cannot see a better way that our computer teacher could have taught us typing skills better, without the use of the software game.
In conclusion, I do believe that software games should be used in schools. There is a time and place for them and they should be used in moderation, along with necessary teacher-led instruction as well. Software games are a great way to further education.