Examples of learning Video-Games

Lightspan Achieve Now
These curriculum resources can be used with Sony PlayStation One games console.

Modern Languages (UK Channel 4)
Designed to complement two Channel 4 television programmes Chez Mimi and Hennings Haus, learners can use the website to develop their French or German. It is aimed at levels C and D of the Modern Languages 5-14 National (Scotland) Guidelines. Through a games based approach, we aimed to produce a website to encourage an interest in modern languages, and that was fun to use. Each site contains ten different games with three levels of game play. Users gain tokens for successfully completing games and enter their scores into a Top Ten Scoreboard. The website is not a language course. An underlying design aspect of the site is that it should raise questions about language thereby fostering an interest in foreign language development. The games can be used individually or as a class based activity to introduce/reinforce key areas of language.

The Discovery Game
A game based on Deus Ex to motivate learners with literacy deficiencies to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

Angel Five
From Visual Purple
Angel Five, from Visual Purple, casts the user as the FBI agent in charge of a city threatened by a terrorist attack. Familiarizing the user with threat assessment tactics related to domestic terrorism, Angel Five provides an overview of the challenges encountered during such a crisis.

Joint Force Employment
Released in May 2000, Joint Force Employment (JFE) is a multimedia CD-ROM designed exclusively for today's U.S. military to convey the concept that "Joint Warfare is Team Warfare." JFE represents a true multimedia environment for joint doctrine education. Select from the computer-assisted mode or player-controlled mode to create and control large combinations of forces and compete against state-of-the-art computer artificial intelligence. Adopt the role of Joint Force Command and tackle 10 scenarios to hone your knowledge of doctrine. Adjust friendly and enemy forces in four selectable scenarios to test varying military possibilities.

Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom
From Learn Technologies Interactive
This game makes learning history into an exploration. The setting is the still unopened 2,200-year-old tomb of the First Emperor of China. The user explores a vast underground city inhabited only by the dead with massive walls, gates, courtyards, arched bridges, painted palaces, alcoves with art treasures, and rock-hewn corridors guarded by a life-size army of clay figures. The user can consult the encyclopedia on ancient China that explains each of the objects, with hot links to related topics. There is also a translator for the written characters. Navigation is easy and a locator map shows you where you have been and what you have not yet seen.

The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
From TERC
This bundle of 12 mathematics games teaches math concepts to children eight and up. As they solve the puzzles to reach Zoombiniville, children can develop skills in data analysis and sorting, hypotheses formation, graphing, logical reasoning, statistical thinking, pattern recognition, and set theory. The game is designed around an escape story - the Zoombinis were a happy group of creatures (somewhat similar in appearance to the old Mr. Potato Head), whose island is taken over by the Bloats. The user's job is to help them in their escape.

Train Dispatcher
From Signal Computer Consultants
Train Dispatchers are the air traffic controllers of the railroads, controlling movement of trains over large track territories. This game simulates the gargantuan routing tasks a real-life dispatcher faces daily. There are seven territories automatically installed with Train Dispatcher 3 and more than 435 supplementary territories (215 are free) currently available with each having its own unique set of problems. With new territories being added periodically, the challenges continue to mount.

SimHealth
The Markle Foundation worked with Maxis and Thinking Tools in 1993 to produce SimHealth, a computer-based simulation of health care policy in the United States. A national health care system is extremely complex and balancing the needs of citizens, the medical community, and insurance companies is no easy task. SimHealth gives the user a chance to patch up the current U.S. system, or create a new and unique system. After the user declares values (balancing Liberty against Quality and Community against Efficiency) new policies are created and existing ones changed. The player must come up with answers to complex questions such as: How will medical costs be controlled? What benefits will be provided as part of the standard coverage? From what sources will insurance companies receive their funding? Segments of each community suffer or flourish as a result of these decisions and you are judged on the basis of whether the policy decisions made are in line with the personal values you declared.

Storybook web
Aimed at levels A and B of the 5-14 National (Scotland) Guidelines, this site was produced to help develop key skills in a number of areas including numeracy, literacy and ICT for young children. The site is based around six illustrated storybooks by Scottish authors. Each story has a game with two levels of game play, a word-bank (gap fill)activity again with two levels and video clips of the author answering questions about writing. A games based approach allowed concepts such as identifying in context two dimensional and three dimensional shapes to be tackled in a simple games based activity. Context to help develop cognitive skills is provided in a child friendly environment. All the games featured in the website are downloadable.

Climate Change in Scotland
Aimed at young people aged 9 -14 years, this website looks at climate change and its impact on Scotland Designed to complement the Environmental Studies 5-14 National (Scotland) Guidelines, it can be used to develop education for citizenship and core skills. Activities show how everyday actions can make a difference to our environment. A range of games encourage users to consider methods of travel, energy conservation and environmentally friendly building. Users have the opportunity to build a virtual eco-friendly house.The website not only encourages users to think about using alternative building materials (such as grass for roofing) but it also can be used to develop collaborative decision making processes. The games section is complemented by a resource section with background information on climate change issues.

Design against crime
Petty crime is a problem for society and can be a negative influence for groups such as young offenders. In this project a game is developed, which utilises the popularity of computer games to capture the interest and imagination of young offenders and possibly reintegrates them into society.

Sim City 3000 – official teacher’s guide

Please do let us know if you know of any examples that should be included here. Email pjb@pjb.co.uk

Resources

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Last updated 28 June 2007