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The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

Posted on July 28th, 2009 in Certification Map, General Interest, Social Media for Education | 2 Comments »
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Some may argue that all video games are experiments in learning. To me, it’s not a question of whether or not we learn through video games. It’s a questions of whether or not what we learn from the video game is valuable. Our Halo skills might not stay with us for the rest of our lives. Our knowledge of the 07′ season in the NFL might help us out a little in the long run. But, there are some games that teach us useful knowledge and skills that we will value for the rest of our lives. And because sometimes regular forms of education just don’t always cut it… Here are The Best Educational Video Games of All Time

7. Mavis Beacon PC

mavis beacon shot The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

Coming Soon: Mavis Beacon Mobile – Out Text your Friends!

While typing skills aren’t necessarily the direction we were going with most of the games mentioned in the list, it’s hard to ignore such a powerhouse amongst educational video games. Essentially a race against yourself or the computer, Mavis Beacon harnesses the power of clear objectives and feedback oriented activites meant to increase your typing speed and accuracy. Who needs games like Need for Speed or Gran Turismo when you can harness the pure power of speed through your very own keyboard?

6. Number Munchers PC

number munchers The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

The Answer to America’s Obesity Problem: Eating Numbers

Number Munchers taught us not only math skills, but also just how much more fun it is to “munch” something than it is to work out of a mathbook. The little green main character (a “Muncher”, that many in the field speculate to be some sort of a frog) must eat all of the numbers that fit into a specified category. The Categories range from factors, primes, equality, etc. If you can eat all the right numbers without being eaten by the Troggles: munchers troggle The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time then you are rewarded with funny cut scenes such as a Muncher carving his own image into Mount Rushmore. Silly Muncher, you’re not the president.

5. Jeopardy! Multi-Plarform

jeopardy The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

I’ll take Edutainment for 400, Alex.

What is…Jeopardy! Everyone’s favorite game show made it’s first appearance in the video game world in 1987 for the NES. Whether in the relaxing setting of Single Jeopardy, the relative tension of Double Jeopardy, or the crippling pressure of Final Jeopardy, Alex Trebek never loses his composure. From pop culture to some seemingly mundane information, Jeopardy! Keeps you entertained with a wide variety of trivia questions. Fun alone, but much more so with a group, it’s no wonder that this staple of American entertainment is featured in our Top Educational Games of All Time list.

4. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? PC

where in the world is carmen sandiego show The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

The fact that she so easily bypasses border security should concern us…

Track down the thief of priceless works of art in the silly but educational, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. With her characteristic red over coat and hat, Carmen is recognizable to just about anyone. Track down the culprits across interesting landscapes and through cities of the world, while absorbing historical and geographical knowledge from each of the unique destinations in the game. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Indeed.

3. Math Blaster PC

math blaster The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

Because EVERYTHING is more fun when you add blasting

Initially, yes, a video game built around math sounds like it wouldn’t be the best way to peak a childs interest. But, add the concept of “blasting” to just about any subject and things start to get pretty entertaining pretty fast. Math Blaster, originally released by Davidson in 1987, has since released many other iterations of it’s long time popular “Blaster” concept including Word Blaster, Reading Blaster, and Alge Blaster. Now that kids have the option of learning by blasting, it makes your average math work book seem just a little behind the times.

2. SimCity PC

simcity2 The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

With great power…

Originally designed for the PC and since redone for SNES and transformed into countless spinoff’s, SimCity is a lesson in civics and society. Keep your residential and commercial districts seperated. Make sure you build an adequate infrastructure to accomidate electricity, water, and transpotation for your dedicated citizens. Keep taxes high enough to allow for meaningful expansion, but raise them too high…and you’re citizens won’t be happy. As the city grows you are faced with more and more challenges. Crime, fires, earthquakes, and tidal waves all threaten your fragile town. Make the right decisions, and be rewarded with promotions, landmarks, and other special building oppotrunities. Perhaps the best part of the game, once you have taken all this time painstakingly crafting a shining city on a hill, is summoning disasters. A giant dinosaur is at your beck and call to strike some fear into the hearts of your citizens should you be that type of a leader. With great power comes great responsibility…only one of the invaluable lessons taught to us in SimCity. And the Number One… Educational Video game… of all time… is:

1. The Oregon Trail PC

oregon trail The Top Seven Educational Video Games of All time

Jimmy Died of a snake bite? No, Jimmmmmmmmy!

A crash course in resource management, The Oregon Trail, is one of the most iconic early computer games of all time. Anyone around during the mid 80′s to the mid 90′s mildly interested in computers or games will be able to reference a time that fording the river probably wasn’t the best idea. Fires? Snake bites? TYPHOID? For an educational childrens game, things sure are serious in the world of The Oregon Trail. If only someone on the trail had their nursing licensure

You’d be lucky to make it ten minutes without facing some horrible, life-threatening dilemma. But, if you want to make it in this game you have to be sure you have the necessities to survive in the harsh, exhausting enviornment. Food, clothes, medicine, ammunition, and spare parts are all crucial to finishing your journey. As you move across the nation in your iconic covered wagon, you are given a historical and geographical snapshot of the manifest destiny 1800′s. In the end, if you make it all the way to the Pacific Ocean you are most likely rewarded with some fabulous prize. To be honest, I don’t really know because I would always try to ford the river… Don’t think our list is the best? If you have any suggestions or comments let us know!