04 Jan 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

Jerz & Jerz, "Civilization 3: Educational Review"

This game is not marketed as an educational title, but we can still meaningfully discuss what and how it teaches.



I found it interesting that the youth stated that he learned and understood the value of reading and learning printed text but could supplement his learning through the game. Even if he did not have a previous understanding of the game's objective, he could learn it on his own through experience in the game or use the game's "civilopedia." It was nice to hear the youth's perspective instead of always reading adults' views for or against the value of video games.

I think at the same time, though he did learn through his experience in the game, he still needs the background provided by a classroom education and textbook. I don't think that the videogame should be his only source of learning, but it could definitely be a useful tool.

This game is very interesting and I believe would be very helpful. I am one of those people who enjoy learning by doing and It is easy for me to learn certain things that way. This game is a perfect example of that. Also the fact that you can pull out the "civilopedia" to help explain things to you is a very creative way to teach people who are playing this game about the different types of government. Some people do not learn well from textbooxs and lectures because they dont feel the need to know what is being talked about, or they dont feel the need to rember it after the test. This game gives you a reason to understand the different types of government as well as help install that knowledge into your mind for a long time.

I find it interesting that there is a game like Civilization III on the market. From what was discussed on the video, I tend to think that the game is being used as a learning tool. Peter knew about communism from the game, not to mention that it offers a 'civilopedia' which probably educates a player even more on types of governments and other important data on how to run a country.
Learning by doing is an aspect of teaching that gives the participant a vocational level of training. If I went to school for four years and only discussed websites and not built web pages, I would not have learned anything. That's why I feel hands-on experience enhances learning levels.
So Civilization III works almost the same way society does? By controlling income and advancements,civilization is able to be balanced. Amazing concept. Maybe the president should play this game.

Watching this video brought back memories for me of Age of Mythology and Roller Coaster Tycoon. Like Civilization 3, they provide gamers with endless entertainment while still teaching the value of understanding the economy. Like in Civilization 3, in Roller Coaster Tycoon, you must learn to manage your manage your theme park's rides, shops, employees, etc in order to keep the park up and running while keeping your guests happy.
When I was younger, I remember my mom telling me that I was obsessed with video games. Then one day, she really surprised me by saying that she thought that a lot of the games I played made me smarter. Sure I played a lot of educational games when I was younger, but I played a lot of games like Civilization 3 when I was younger too, such as The Sims, SimCity, various Tycoons, Nancy Drew, and Black and White. Her thought was that these types of games, as well as most video games, actually, really improved my problem solving. I was one of those kids who got really frustrated when I couldn't figure out a puzzle. Sure sometimes I'd visit a walkthrough to help me, but for the most part, I did most of the work on my own.

First of all, I agree with Beth Anne that a child would still obviously need that kind of knowledge that only a classroom could provide, but yes, it is exciting that people can learn rather complex things about life and the real world from videogames. Having said that, games like the Civilizations franchise, which is a real-time strategy game (RTS), are NOT for everyone. I, personally, find the in-depth micromanaging of one's civilization- from the civilians to the army and the buildings to the economy- all too stressful and so too, I would imagine, most young children and other gamers who would have the most knowledge to gain from games like this. Educational games, just as traditional classroom education, face the challenge of trying to make learning fun for a broad audience, which RTS's just don't do...

I have never played any of the Civ games, but I see the value of having a playable form of a textbook. Teachers could greatly add to the classroom experience by showing a particular event in Civ. I have played Age of Empires however, and it too also offers, on a much smaller scale, the city, military, and agricultural planning that can aid a students learning.

Wow, Age of Empires brings back memories; I can remember playing that in school. I cannot say that I remembered too much of what it had to offer though; maybe that is because I never did get too enthused over Social Studies.

Age of Empires was big on the military side of a civilization. Planning your city was second to decimating your opponents... at least that's how I played it.

Many interesting points were made. I never played a video game and thought of politics or the world or economy at all. I really just played to both pass time away or just to simply entertain myself. So I thought it was quite interesting to hear a point of view like this from a real true gamer, which I am not.

From reading everyone's posts, I wonder if we will see less of educational games in the classroom with the higher demands placed on standardized test scores and subject standards or more with increased computers in the classroom and cyber schools. It seems to me that teachers (K-12) are losing the ability to be more creative and flexible.

Seeing as I am studying to be a teacher, I think this is one of the biggest problems with education. I understand the need for standardized testing, but I think Susan you're right in saying that teachers won't be able to use games like these. There is no room for trying new things like videogames or even projects that get the students doing hands-on activities. There is too much pressure to get good test scores and that isn't fair to the students in my opinion.

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