I very much believe that kids learn best when they are enjoying themselves. In my new book, The Gamer Generation: Reaping the Benefits of Video Games, I show many examples of the successful use of video games in education.
The recommended games below are all free and discussed in my book, The Gamer Generation. The first two are from the chapter on education, the third from the chapter on creating video games and the last two are from the serious games chapter. Those two are educational in a way in which the player is learning about problems we face in our world and playing the game could actually help the problem
1. Lure of the Labyrinth – A pre-algebra game for middle school students. The math is part of a bigger story line in which monsters are trying to take over the world. Players must use logic and understanding to solve puzzles and stop the monsters.
2. Playing History: The Plague – Although there is an online version, the only free version is an iPad 2 app. The game takes place in 14th century Florence where many in the city, including your mother, are stricken with a mysterious disease. You have to move around the city and speak to people to help your mother without catching it yourself.
3. Kodu Game Lab – Kids and adults, ages 10 and up can build their own video games for free with Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab. If your kids are younger or want something a little easier, check out Gamestar Mechanic.
4. Trash Tycoon – Your town has been abandoned and covered with trash. Earn game money and experience points by collecting trash, upcycling it in various ways, and creating new and marvelous products out of recycled components. A great way to learn about helping the environment.
5. Wetopia – A Facebook game, so technically can only be played by teens and older. Players create villages and help their neighbors. All money spent on virtual goods goes to real world causes. Players can also help out without spending any money. Advertisers will make donations for you if you watch their ads.
After playing games like these, you can see that gaming is not a time waster. With the right games, video games can help both the gamer and society. For more game recommendations and to learn more about the benefits of video games, check out The Gamer Generation: Reaping the Benefits of Video Games on Amazon.
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