Learning Games Examples
Everybody who is interested in game design probably already knows the importance of learning games in both the education world and the game design world. These games are classified as “Edutainment” in the business. Although some people still claim that doing things and getting experiences in real life is much better, not everyone has the same financial, social, psychological, or physical status. So, there are many people in the world who can benefit well-made learning games to learn and practice certain skills.
In the past, video games you could use to learn new skills were fairly limited. Most of them are straight simulations. However, in recent years many video game design colleges and universities paid more attention to the benefits of learning games, and the largest game design companies responded to the need in the market.
Nowadays, video game designers are creating impressive learning games, or educational games. These video games are successful in keeping the experience as fun as possible while teaching the skills. Especially one particular genre, music-related learning games achieved to be quite popular in the video game market. These games teach gamers musical skills. The most well-known examples of this genre are the games like “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero”. Gamers play these learning games with plastic, instrument (usual guitar) shaped controllers with color-coded buttons. In order to get higher scores, players need to press the right buttons with the right pattern and rhythm shown in the game during the songs.
Although games like “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” are supposed to be learning games for musical skills, many people criticized these games for being too simple to teach instruments, especially playing guitars. This criticism has actually had a point since the controllers have only six buttons while real guitars have at least 25 unique tones.
Later in years, the video game design company Ubisoft responded to this criticism. By taking the previous popular game mechanics and improving them, Ubisoft created the best learning game for playing guitar so far, Rocksmith.
Rocksmith had color-coded tones coming towards the screen on lanes just like Guitar Hero games too. However, the difference was that Rocksmith uses actual electric guitars connected to your system to play the game. The tones you needed to hit to get scores in the game were the same tones you would hit to play the songs on the guitar. As you can imagine, this learning game taught many people how to play guitar.
Rocksmith isn’t the only successful learning game Ubisoft made. Although it is not famous with that aspect, the Assassin’s Creed franchise of Ubisoft is also an excellent example of a learning game. All Assassin’s Creed games had their stories depicted in different historical eras. The company paid extreme attention to making all the details, other than the game’s plot and the supernatural aspects in it, as accurate as possible. Numerous historians praised the games for their success as learning games for history.
Ubisoft took this even further in the later Assassin’s Creed games by making the educational versions of the games. The Educational versions are complete learning games by having no violence and combat in them and guiding players through the locations in the game and giving historical information about the places and the related cultures. These games are some of the best examples of learning games for historical subjects.
Of course, Ubisoft is not the only video game design company that makes excellent learning games. There are many video game companies in this line of work. Another good example would be Double Fine Studios.
Double Fine Studios is the creator of Happy Action Theater, an interactive sandbox game that uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology. Happy Action Theater is a game with no particular plot or end. It is a game in which you can do many different activities to have fun. What makes us include this game as a learning game is the use of the game in an Australian school. In the Jackson School of Victoria, teachers used the game as a teaching method for students with special needs. The social fun they achieved with this game helped the education a lot. Hence, we can count Happy Action Theater as a learning game for kids today.
Maybe in the past, edutainment products, or in other words, classroom games, left short in providing fun and education together. However, thanks to the better education in video game design schools and modern technologies, video game design companies are now much more capable of making good learning games and “Educational Entertainment”. With a decent education, you too can make such games and help people of all ages to learn new skills and educate themselves.
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