Where teachers better understand how games can address different learning styles and engage disaffected learners, motivation increases exponentially and learners certainly don't ask "Do we really have to play Super Mario Brothers?"
Your choice of gaming example also raises the question of which software packages work. There are a number of off-the-shelf games being used by teachers that have shown they can help engage and motivate children and can also contribute positively to raising levels of pupil attainment.
The overriding message that comes from research conducted so far, however, is moderation. Used well, games are another tool to extend children's learning. As with all technology, they should be used where they make a difference and where they make the learning easier and more effective. Only the teacher can judge that.
Director of Mobile Learning