So, I have this crazy idea that games can be successfully educational without being a boring multiple choice game with a few game mechanics throne in to make it more game-like.
I think the way to do this is to teach through game design and gameplay. Creating an experience for the player will help them learn more than just asking them multiple choice questions about a place they've never been to.
This is where I think games have a major potential in education. There are bunches of educational games that I don't find very educational at all. I think that NASCAR games are more educational in how to drive than a multiple choice game of the state drivers license manual, beefed up with a few sound effects and neat characters.
I learned the mechanics of a car from driving games. I learned problem solving from Tomb Raider and chess. These games created an experience. They didn't throw a textbook at me about problem solving and algorithms about solving problems. They presented problems, and I had to solve them (no help for the most part in the older Tomb Raider (you know how I feel about that already though. hehe)).
Once again, it takes good game mechanics. Things like Risk and Reward etc.
I have actually used chess principles to catch thieves in the act.
Have you heard the story about the boy who saved his sister from a wild animal by using a tactic he learned in WOW? I think it was wow, where you have to pretend to be dead in order to trick someone. And it worked (hmm, sounds like an interesting mechanic for a war game).
I think that level design is a form of storytelling, but instead of using words, you use visual cues. For instance, when writing a story, you choose a location for the story and you describe the story. This leaves the actual image of the story up to the reader, but in level design you get to create the location and describe it through texturing and lighting etc. Same thing with characters.
The design of the game, if done right, should be what educates the user. Game design is a visual art, so it should speak in a visual language.
I have a dilemma though. I am looking for game design techniques that make games more visually educational. I know location is already apparent when you design the location. The posing of characters tell you something about the characters, even the texturing and modeling can, but I am talking about all around design, and how it can be used to teach something, without having to use much text.
I am thinking of a historical game where history plays out, and you partake in real historical events to help you understand them better. I think that should be a whole new genre of gaming.
So, anyone can list any examples or uses of design to teach or educate the player?
Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 03 January 2014 - 01:48 PM.