Friday, 30 August 2013

10 Serious Games with Serious Messages

I wrote an article back in 2012 called “11 Educational Games for Social Good”.  Since then, more serious games with serious messages have been made.  This list of ten includes games to teach about financial management, the environment, social issues and so on.  The games are all aimed at different ages but many could easily be used in schools.

  1. Marine Missions - A game designed by the National Geographic Society to teach children about ocean animals and the importance of water.
  2. Budget Hero - This game puts the player in charge of government spending and aims to teach about financial management and decision making.  There is also information specifically for teachers wanting to use the game in class: http://www.teachbudgethero.org/.
  3. HeartSaver: An Experimental News Game - The aim of the game is to “Save as many heart attack victims as possible by getting them to the best emergency room in time”.
  4. Plan it Green Live - A city builder game to teach about being environmentally friendly and making people aware of the latest ‘green’ technologies.
  5. Dafur is Dying - The game “provides a window into the experience of the 2.5 million refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan. Players must keep their refugee camp functioning in the face of possible attack by Janjaweed militias”.
  6. Bite Club - The game aims to teach about saving for retirement, paying down debt and managing consumption as players manage a "day club" for vampires.
  7. Gauging your Distraction - The game shows how external distractions (in this case, texting) affect drivers’ reaction times.
  8. Half the Sky Movement - I play this game as a Facebook app and I love it.  It aims to educate people about women’s issues and oppression around the world.
  9. Quandary - “Players aged 8-14 shape the future of a new society while learning how to recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives”.
  10. Financial Football - This is a fast-paced game that engages students while teaching them money management skills.  Teams compete by answering financial questions to win their (American) football game.

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