4 games to introduce the use of video games in the classroom
Talking about using video games in education does not equal talking only about educational games, also known as serious games. In fact, a player can develop many skills and knowledge while playing even a mainstream blockbuster game. As the partners of this project are currently researching the theory that will be explored into our Pedagogical Guide On Using Video Games In The Classroom, in this article we share videos to introduce 4 mainstream games and how they can be used or have been adapted to educative contexts.
The Assassin’s Creed is an action and adventure video game series, in which the player experiences historical settings and periods by completing assassination missions. The games in the series start in the medieval era of the Middle East, continue in the Renaissance Era in Italy, take you to the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century, and so forth.
What is depicted in the games is not always 100% accurate, but each game is based on strong historical research. Therefore, a discovery tour mode has been developed to offer virtual tours in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.
‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Discovery Tour | Ubisoft [NA]‘
A game genre that can have interesting uses in education are 4X games, for ‘Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate’, which in short is a type of strategy game. The most well-known series is probably Sid Meier’s Civilization, a series in which you start you own civilization on Earth, and advance through historical times by managing resources and developing your influence (through religion, culture, military, etc.). It can be a great entry point to look at history, geography and international relations dynamics.
You can take a look at this 2-minute video to understand what is at stake when building a city as a base for your civilisation in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.
‘Civilization VI – How to build a city’
Kerbal Space Program
Kerbak Space Program is a game that allows players to build their own space ships and rockets to explore space. The characters are little green creatures, but do not be fooled: the game mechanics are based on engineering and physics principles and the learner has to gradually understand these principles to reach their space exploration goals. In the video below, a teacher explains how he used the game to teach physics and engineering to his students.
‘My students try Kerbal Space Program and the experience is Priceless’
If you work with teenagers, there is no doubt that you have heard about Minecraft, the game in which players create their own world one block at a time. Its creators have even created an educative mode, which allowed teachers to create a sense of classroom or school atmosphere during the school closures in 2020. In this TED talk, Joel Levin talks about the opportunities Minecraft offers in the classroom.
‘Learning through gaming : using Minecraft in the classroom | Joel Levin’
As the project progresses, we will share more resources, presentations of games and inspirations to use them for both players and non-players. Stay tuned!
Minecraft, December 17th 2020. ‘Minecraft : Education Edition’s Bright Lights of 2020’. Available at https://education.minecraft.net/blog/minecraft-education-editions-bright-lights-of-2020
Photo by Igor Karimov on Unsplash