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Let’s just qualify that question: I’m not talking about, for example, Minecraft being added to the school curriculum in Sweden (awesome though that is). Nor am I talking about edu-games – I’m talking about an existing video game, teaching the existing curriculum. And yes, it can happen!
Electronic Arts (EA) are currently prepping the latest in the SimCity series (due out 5 March, 2013), the PC game that allows you to indulge your God complex in the creation and maintenance of a digital cityscape. Whilst I mainly learnt how to defend my city against aliens – and gained greater bladder control from not leaving the computer – school kids in the US could soon be taught Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects – all to the US Common Core Standards – with the help of SimCityEDU.
As the press release by EA explains, ‘Educators will be able to create and share digital SimCity-based lesson plans that will encourage students to think critically about the challenges facing modern cities. In the classroom, SimCity will be more than a game – it will be a way for the next generation of leaders to hone their skills through urban planning, environmental management and socio-economic development.’ Neat!
I kind of appreciated the simplistic Flash games that tested by algebra skills at school but this is kicking the whole thing up a notch – showing children how different school subjects are related, getting them involved in some kinetic learning, and getting them to think about city planning, environmentalism, and social-economics. And maybe aliens.
(pic : Business Wire)
If used in the right way, surely games such as sim ciry even football management games teach commerce, maths (budgeting) etc, and the fact you HAVE to at times make hard decisions that are unpopular,. you also learn about infrastructure etc.
in fact you can learn from playing games such as command and conquer, certainly in terms of resource management and how to control your military resources to make the highest gains and lowest costs.