Video Game Physics
How do I explain to administrators that using video games is educational?
What is important first and foremost is to explain how they are used in the classroom. If you are just letting students play games to play games, then no, they are not educational. However if you are utilizing the science in the gaming engines and what occurs during the game play then that is the key to emphasize. How are you using in game data or events to teach the material and develop some critical thinking skills, that is the key to using them effectively in the classroom.
What games should I be using in the classroom?
Video games, just like movies come with ratings. A clip from a game might be perfectly fine though it has a higher rating (make sure you know what is happening in the surrounding areas and background audio) but you should avoid free play labs on any games like that. Same thing with any online game platforms. Minecraft has a plethora of opportunities to allow it to be used in the classroom but online play can change what can happen in the setting.