Games Multimedia Materials
Main Menu of Resources for Teaching about Educational Games
Open Source Games
- Download the Voices of Spoon River game developed by the Instructional Games class at Utah State University, an interactive text adventure that introduces students to the works of a great American poet, while at the same time, provides an opportunity to solve puzzles, talk to ghosts, and engage in a computer-based reading adventure.
Example Learning Games
- Serious Game Analyses, This is a resource of serious game analyses. The analyses were conducted with the Design, Play, Experience (DPE) Framework.
- Qtoro: What did you learn today?*, This is an online game that lets users create their own simple trivia questions. Each question lets users provide an explanation and a link to learn more. It's been named one of the top educational games of 2007. Question tagging lets users play specific topics. For more information, or for inquiries on getting a topic-specific widget for your website, school, or museum, you can contact ben [at] qtoro [dot] com.
- 4 Different Disney Ride Operator Simulators, These are operator simulators of four different Disney rides: Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Phantom Manor. In all of them, you're pretty much trying to get as many people on the ride in as short a time as possible.
- Small Negotiation Game Using English, Negotiate with the crazy guy before he blows up the building. Used to teach English.
- The Diffusion Simulation Game, The Diffusion Simulation Game was created in the Department of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. The Web version was led by Dr. Ted Frick with designers Barbara Ludwig, K. J. Kim and Rui Huang. The DSG is based on a board game originally developed by Dr. Michael Molenda and Marjorie Cambry. In this simulation you will be playing the role of a change agent in a hypothetical school. Your objective is to persuade as many of the staff members as possible to adopt a particular innovation - peer tutoring. You are a reading specialist who has just been assigned to conduct a federally-funded project at James Whitcomb Riley Junior High School, located in a mixed urban/suburban area of Centralia City. For a free Trial: Username: AECT, Password: Dallas. For a full version, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Watershed Game, Water...we all depend on it for survival. But water is a scarce resource—only one percent of all water on earth is freshwater! How can we keep this water pure and fresh? Many things happen in a watershed that affect the quality of the water we rely upon. What are they? Would you make the best decisions in managing your watershed? Examine the issues in each area of the watershed, then see the impacts of your choices!
- Welcome to Planet Oit: Geology Explorer, Planet Oit is an online computer game in which the students play interplanetary explorers as a means to teach the concepts and principles of physical geology. The students' task is to obtain the appropriate equipment and perform tests on the samples they find before they can report their findings back to Earth. User registration is required but at no cost.
- Big Al Game: Walking with Dinosaurs, Eat enough to grow from a hatchling to an adult male Allosaurus. There are four levels - hatchling, juvenile, sub-adult, adult - and you reach each level as you gain more weight.
- Ayiti: The Cost of Life, What is it like to live in poverty, struggling every day to stay healthy, keep out of debt, and get educated? Find out now in this challenging role playing game created by the High School students in Global Kids with the game developers at Gamelab, in which you take responsibility for a family of five in rural Haiti.
- Peacemaker: A Video Game to Promote Peace, PeaceMaker is a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a tool that can be used to promote dialog and understanding among Israelis, Palestinians and interested people around the world.
- Ben's Game; Make-A-Wish Foundation, Throughout Ben Duskin's battle with Leukemia, he played computer games, which helped him get through the treatment process. He also began to think about the need to have something positive that helped other kids battle their illnesses. So when Make-A-Wish approached him to grant his wish, he decided to design a video game that would be helpful for kids like him who have cancer -- a way to fight back and relieve some of the pain and stress involved with treatment.
- Voyage Beijing, developed by the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University, simulates a first business trip to Beijing, China. As a player, your mission is to travel to Beijing and arrange a business deal with a potential Chinese partner. The primary way to achieve success is to build a good impression with your Chinese hosts. You build or loose impression points by making choices in the interactions you have with the Chinese hosts. On your journey you can also earn knowledge points by exploring the game world, which is based on Beijing.
- Life Preservers, developed by the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University, is a National Science Foundation funded learning game created to meet educational, game design, and research goals. The game is designed to teach middle and high school science standards on adaptation and evolution, to appeal to girls, and to accommodate competitive and exploration play styles.
- Fantastic Food Challenge, developed by the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University, contains a series of digital games designed to teach key concepts from basic food-nutrition curricula in a fun, engaging manner, thereby increasing the participants’ interest and motivation in learning.
- Ink, under development at the Writing Center at Michigan State University, is a multiplayer, online game for writing and community. Ink blends innovative support for teaching writing with compelling, co-creative gameplay.
- The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer is a free online game developed by Anthony Betrus at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The game serves primarily as an introduction to Instructional Design, although it has been used with advanced students in graduate programs as well. It serves an anchor for extended online discussions among game participants about their prior experiences related to Instructional Design. See http://www2.potsdam.edu/betrusak/idcardgame/idcardgameoverview.html for more information about the multiplayer card game (not online) predecessor to this online game, as well as some example anecdotes from online discussions. More information on this game can be found in the 2002 Jan/Feb article in Educational Technology by Betrus and Sugar "The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer: The Development of an Instructional Card Game."
- Hot Shot Business is an interesting strategy game developed by Disney Online with the Kauffman Foundation that allows kid authentic practice in being an entrepreneur. Kid, parent, and teacher guides are provided.
- Lemonade Stand is a remake of the classic Apple II learning game. This is a great example of an early learning game.
- Another classic learning game is Oregon Trail which has been revised several times since the original release in 1985.
- While not necessarily built to be learning games, the following commercial games have often been reapplied for learning purposes: SimCity, Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, Civilization, and the Tycoon series of games.
- A nice game developed by Maryland Public TV for teaching Math in K-12: Villainy Inc. - also other games available on the Thinkport site.
- The Wikipedia entry on Serious Games highlights several other learning game titles.
- Making History
- Rome: Total War
- Digital Zoo Gina Navoa Svarovsky created this "epistemic game." As reported on their website: By participating in the program, students learn about concepts in physics, develop self-confidence and presentation skills, and begin to see the world through the eyes of a problem-solving engineer. Once students play in the Digital Zoo, they won't look at anything that stands or moves the same way again!
- Urban Science Elizabeth Bagley led the development of this "epistemic game." As reported on their website: In Urban Science, players learn about ecology, develop self-confidence and presentation skills, and start to see the world through the eyes of a problem-solving urban planner. Once players finish Urban Science, they won't look at any street or neighborhood the same way again!
- CyberCIEGE. The Naval Postgraduate School created this construction and management simulation to enhance cybersecurity education and training. Players purchase and configure computers and network devices to keep demanding users happy (e.g., by providing Internet access) all while protecting assets from a variety of attacks. The game includes a number of different scenarios, some of which focus on basic training and awareness, others on more advanced network security concepts. It is used by agencies of the U.S. government, universities and community colleges. The game is freely available to the U.S. Government and a no-cost license is available for educational institutions. A "Scenario Development Kit" is available for creating and customizing scenarios.
- Beyond Pong: The Evolution of Video Games is a story about how video games have "come of age" and how some have taken their passion for gaming to the next level. The video is available online and does a great job of giving an overview of the game industry, including a brief discussion of serious games.
- Why Video Games Are Good For You is an online video of the informal discussion between James Paul Gee and Henry Jenkins at Future Play 2005 at Michigan State University. (NOTE: the link contains a number of other useful online videos on game design, as well.)
- Modern Marvels: Video Games: Behind the Fun DVD is a purchasable video produced by the History Channel. It's a bit dated in the technology it focuses on, but works well as a slice in time from about 2001.
- Rise of the Video Game Discovery Channel five part series DVD, 2008.
- National Public Radio's The Infinite Mind with host John Hockenberry Oct 16, 2006 Special four-part series "Through the Looking Glass," taped live in the 3D on-line virtual community Second Life.
- National Public Radio's Studio 360 from Jan 29, 2005: Show #605 Players, Military, Super Mario Kurt Andersen and Slate journalist Clive Thompson discuss how video games are taking over the world – from the art scene in New York to the front lines of the war in Iraq.
- PC Gamer Magazine's free online weekly podcasts Along with providing up to the date information about PC Games, the tackle industry issues such as sex and violence in games, FCC regulations, and ESRB ratings controversies. A great source for current industry information.
- Christopher Lydon's NPR Show "Open Source" March 27, 2006 Broadcast: "Living in Game Space" A nice discussion about the social implications of the online game "Second Life."
- Christopher Lydon's NPR Show "Open Source" Mardch 28, 2006 Broadcast: "Confessions of a Second Lifer" A follow-up discussion about the online game "Second Life."
- Dave Davies on NPR's Fresh Air Nov 15, 2006 Broadcast: "Exploring the Online Gaming World" Journalist Julian Dibbell talks about his book Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot. He explores the world of online role-playing games, where hundreds of thousands of players log on to operate fantasy characters in virtual environments. One of the most popular games, World of Warcraft, has six million subscribers.
- NPR'sWeekend Edition Saturday Oct 21, 2006 Broadcast: "Role-Playing Games, Offering a New Reality" The real and the virtual converge in computer games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby, co-authors of Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution, discuss the implications with Andrea Seabrook.
- NPR's Talk of the Nation Nov 22,2006 Broadcast: "Makers of Gaming Systems Reach Out to Wider Audience" When Nintendo unveiled their latest gaming system, the company wanted to appeal to non-traditional gamers. Their new video game console is designed to appeal not just to 20-something men, but also to women and baby boomers. The vice-president of Nintendo America talks about its latest, the Wii, and the future of the gaming industry.
- NPR's News and Notes Dec 5, 2006 Broadcast: "When Virtual Reality Isn't Really Virtual" Technology contributor Mario Armstrong talks with Farai Chideya about how online virtual communities aren't entirely virtual.
- NPR's Day to Day Jan 24, 2007 Broadcast: "Clinic Addresses Video Game Addictions" Video gamers who say they're addicted to playing can now seek help at their own rehabilitation facility. Some mental health professionals at the facility in Washington State say that video game addiction should be treated as a disability.
- NPR's Infinite Mind August 18, 2008 Broadcast: "Taking Games Seriously" From the NPR Inifinite Mind site: "We are joined by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, co-founders of the Center for Mental Health and Media in Boston, Dr. David Williamson Shaffer, of University of Wisconsin, who is developing "serious" games that help children learn, and Gina Navoa Svarovsky and Padraig Nash of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with a student who has played the "epistemic" games."
- Warcraft Radio's 'Wow Things Considered' Podcast: "Interview With Rebecca Whitehead (aka lolite on Kilrogg), Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, Arizona" Teaches "Introduction to Applied Leadership" largely using "World of Warcraft" all students are required to have their own account, alliance character, starting from scratch. Cafe license was worked out with Blizzard. Class meets online 2 nights a week, 2 hours at a time to do team-based leadership activities. Students eventually break off and form their own guilds.
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