The foundation of a game is to be a fun and engaging experience. We recently found an article, “How to Make an Educational Game Kids Want to Play” by Adriene Hill, explaining one of the most important rules to making an effective educational game is that it cannot be a chocolate covered broccoli. In other words, it can’t be a game that looks like fun and engaging only until you actually bite into it – at which point you realize that it is just traditional education disguised as a game. According to Phaedra Boinodiris, global lead for serious games and gamification at IBM, educational games still need to feel like games. Children who struggle to focus in school can spend hours trying to solve a video game. “Kids diagnosed with ADHD because they can’t pay attention will play games for 9 straight hours on the computer. Games focus attention in a way that school doesn’t.” As a company that pursues the innovation of serious games, we understand the importance of providing entertainment to our educational games, and sometimes we can learn it from other successful serious games.
Brain Chase applies this rule of thumb by focusing on a story of adventures that must use mathematical skills to solve problems and reach the treasure. Although it is meant to be educational, kids were not aware of the educational intention because of the entertainment. Many teachers have begun to connect entertainment and education together to further help students subconsciously learn faster or be more engaged towards education.
Brain Chase is a 5-week online challenge for 2nd through 8th graders. In order to keep kids interested and engaged in learning they have created a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math. And get this- there is an actual treasure buried somewhere in the world. The student who finds it gets a $10,000 scholarship and trophy. How’s that for motivation?
Shawn Young further demonstrates this concept through the use of Classcraft. Classcraft is a role playing game designed to increase collaboration and engagement in the classroom. This game applies to all subjects in education because it focuses on teamwork. Classcraft is relevant to students because the risks and rewards in the game are real. Do well academically and help your teammates with their homework, and you can gain experience points that can unlock real powers like eating in class or asking a question on an exam.” This pulls out the urge for students to do well in class. By applying similar principles from World of Warcraft into the form of a classroom environment, students realize their success is interdependent and worthwhile.
Classcraft is a free online, educational role-playing game that teachers and students play together in the classroom. By using many of the conventions traditionally found in games today, students can level up, work in teams, and earn powers that have real-world consequences. Acting as a gamification layer around any existing curriculum, the game transforms the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.
Right now, many people still consider video games to have a negative impact on adolescents or children. We, at Skyless Video Games, are here to prove that opinion wrong. With the increase popularity of video games in our society, we are ready to use this popularity to our advantage, and create games that will help you understand how our government works, how companies operate, and how a video game can change the world.