E-Learning and Games – Week 2

Based on photo by xandert found on morgueFile
Based on photo by xandert found on morgueFile

Link to all Weeks     Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     Week 4      Week 5     Week 6


  1. Game Genres
  2. Find 5 Educational Games (Task)
  3. Game Mechanics
  4. Homework
  5. Feedback

Game Genres

We will start off by comparing last week’s works by you. What definitions did everybody find?

Game genres are different from film genres. While film genres are related to a style of a film or an era a plot is set in, game genres relate more to the way a game is played. This is the actions a gamer needs to perform to succeed in a game. These actions are also called Game Mechanics. Game genres can also be classified by a viewpoint (eg First Person Shooter = FPS and Third Person Shooter = TPS or 3PS) or the style.

Examples are:


Fast paced, player needs to be accurate and quick (eg shooting)


Competitive games that revolve around vehicles of all sorts racing against each other. Can be single player or multiplayer.

Example: Need for Speed


Anything about sports, either action of playing the sport with a character or simulation of making a team succeed. Most current sport games are hybrids of Action/RPG or Action/Simulation.

Examples: Fifa, Pro Evolution Soccer, Tiger Woods Golf, Football Manager.


A genre that requires planning and thinking to succeed. There is real-time and turn-based strategy. Real-time that the game runs to a clock and that every players actions take place straight away. Turn-based strategy is more of a stop and go experience, players decide on their turns and then the game advances per turn.

Examples: League of Legends, Total War Series, Risk


This genre is about solving problems, there may be puzzles, exploring, memorisation and twists along the way. Levels play a part, often there are areas that need to be explored. Most adventure games are hybrids with other games.

Examples: Tombraider, Myth




FPS – First Person Shooter

3PS/TPS – Third Person Shooter


Party, Dance , Rhythm



Edugames or Educational Games

Find 5 Educational Games

Research Educational Games!

Use the internet to find 5 games (including Ubisoft’s Rocksmith) that are current.

  • Describe the platform,
  • the technology,
  • game mechanics and
  • target audience as well as
  • learning material/topic.

Upload in form of a comment to this post with a link to game images and and info online!

Game Mechanics

Game mechanics are a topic that has created a fair bit of controversy over the years. People vary in their definition of what should be a game mecahnic. Below is a definition that we will use for this class:

A simple division between mechanics and rules breaks down into two things:

Mechanics are the actions you can perform

Rules determine the outcome and

gameplay is derived by balancing these two things.

So, to take a Tetris example:

The mechanics of Tetris are:

Turn a block

Drop a block fast

Destroy blocks by creating a line

The rules of Tetris are

  • Gravity, which accelerates in a stepped fashion according to score
  • Score, which increases in a stepped fashion according to created lines
  • Pile reformation, which determines the effects of a destroyed line on the blocks above.
  • The lose condition of whether the pieces reach the top
  • The next piece determinant, which selects what new piece will show after the previous one has landed.

Source: http://www.lostgarden.com/2006/10/what-are-game-mechanics.html Feb 2012


Please look at the sites/posts below on edugames or educational games or serious games during the week.

Try at least 3 games and be prepared to speak about them in class!

BBC Educational Games   ZaidLearn   75 Free EduGames to Spice Up Your Course


Please leave your feedback in form of a comment. Your feedback and suggestions will help me to make this blog more user friendly. Thanks!


  1. Rune Trails
    In Rune Trails, you move the rune pieces around the board and create trails of five or more pieces to make them disappear. Every time you make a move, new pieces are added. The player must use their mind to think of ways of removing the pieces faster than they appear or risk the board flipping over.

    This is a special game that will challenge kids who love playing on the iPhone. It is mentally stimulating and fun for kids (especially older kids). Parents will find it to be a very fun educational iPhone game.
    Smarty Pants
    Smarty Pants finally levels the playing field for people of all ages, allowing simultaneous play using age-targeted trivia plus action-based gestures, making it a truly trans-generational game made exclusively for the Wii. Tailoring questions to the contestant’s age, gamers from eight to eighty can join in on the fun all at the same time. Exciting Wii gestures make everything a game, from spinning the category wheel and tug-of-wars over correct answers, to “dance-offs” for additional points. With both competitive and collaborative game modes and 20,000 questions in multiple categories, the fun is virtually endless!
    Reader Rabbit
    The Reader Rabbit series has reading-related educational games that touch a variety of learning levels and topics. The one we’ve linked to here is for second graders, but there are others for lower and higher grades. All get kids involved in reading through a series of fun mini-games.
    It is allows children to watch their favourite videos easily and safely while on the go. Kids can enjoy age-appropriate videos from trusted brands like Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss and create playlists to keep them busy any time of day your children can have fun and learn while using this iPhone application. The app uses bright colors and graphics to keep your kids engaged. All videos have been screened by parents and educators in advance. Kideos is one of our top picks for year in the educational iPhone category. Kideos was created by Earlier Media, a company dedicated to providing a trustworthy destination for children of all ages to learn.

    The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks
    This game is free to play for basic features, but you will have to pay to upgrade your account to have access to more features. In this educational virtual world, you can expect your child to learn about history, geography, famous people, and ecology. Your children will have a great time playing this game, while learning more about the world they live in. They will be able to interact and make friends with other kids from around the world.

  2. – Little Big Planet
    Little Big Planet was designed on Playstation 3 and Gameboy. The technology is quiet new, and revolves around physics and teamwork. It requires two players to help each other out through basic team working puzzles. The game mechanics are basic with different and unique controls from other controller games, for example you need to hold the R1 button to grab and hold objects, when usually in other games you would just press O. The target audience is mostly children/ family, a game the family can enjoy and play together before bedtime.

    – SimCity
    SimCity was designed on PC with Bird Eye Point of View technology that allows you to Sandbox Mode and create a new civilisation with electricity, water, sewage and pollution to be all controlled and monitored safely to allow a healthy society to be liveable.
    It requires only one person to play but you can have friends playing at the same time. The game mechanics allow you to help your friends own cities and they can help you too—learning teamwork and how to basically control the four elements of keeping a city safe. The target audience is teenagers to play the game at any time of the day.

    – Brain Age: Brain Training
    BrainTraining is an educational game for all ages, allowing everyone to participate and enjoy learning. Although it’s a one player game, the player can adjust to what level/age they want the questions to be. The game mechanics are just questions on a plain background, nothing too fancy but a couple of questions with answers.

    – Art Academy
    Art Academy allows Any-Age to learn about the basic concepts of art, like how to paint, draw and texturize. It’s basic mechanics that allow a stylus to control all the movements in the frame. It’s a one-player game that is designed to help with hand movements and gestures to allow painting and drawing to become more defined. The game is unlike most other games so its textures/ mechanics are quite different.

    – Kinectimals
    Kinectimals, although mostly designed for kids is an All-Ages game, which allows basic teachings of how to train and keep an animal alive. With little mini-games such as throwing a Frisbee and driving a toy car teaches basic mechanical hand-held skills. The mechanics of the game through Kinect allows your body to be the controller so being active also has a huge influence on the game.

  3. Look up 5 educational games.

    Rocksmith is a music video game produced by Ubisoft, based on the technology in the unreleased project Guitar Rising. The game’s main focus is the unique feature that allows players to plug in virtually any electric guitar and play. In North America, it was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms in October 2011. Rocksmith was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 during September 2012 in Australian and European markets and October 2012 in Japan. A Windows version was released on October 16, 2012 after several delays.
    An expansion adding bass guitar compatibility became available on August 14, 2012. A second release which integrates the bass expansion as well as additional refinements became available on October 16, 2012. Rocksmith 2014 is a 2013 replacement of the original Rocksmith.

    Coin Catcher:
    Play with or without story mode and chase money while learning about responsible fiscal practices by using the iPod’s motion sensors.

    Let’s Create! Pottery:
    Less messy (and expensive) than a pottery wheel, this app introduces creatively-leaning young players to the basics of crafting with clay and designing the finished results.
    Pottery making ceramics has never been more simple and fun! Become a true artist and create “one of a kind” pottery items. Throw the clay on the wheel; release all your artistic talents and take benefit of dozens of materials available in order to create your own design!

    Story Wheel:
    What Studies Show
    Studies are mounting that strongly support the educational and developmental benefits of storytelling. Here are just a few quotes from studies:
    •”Children’s orally told invented fairy tales can be used (a) to promote cognitive development, (b) to assess cognitive development, and (c) to identify emotional conflicts that children are experiencing.”
    Geist, Eugene and Jerry Aldridge. “The developmental progression of children’s oral story inventions.”Journal of Instructional Psychology. 2002. Feb. 4 2011. http://www.findarticles.com
    •”Storytelling is one of the most important tools of any educator because it engages children in learning.”
    Ellis, Brian “Fox” and Stephanie McAndrews. Storytelling Magic Enhancing Childrens Oral Language Reading And Writing. Unknown. Feb 4 2011. http://www.foxtalesint.com
    •”Storytelling stimulates the imagination. Recent studies have shown that children who lack imagination are not only prone to failure in school but are far more susceptible to violence.”
    Fredericks, Linda and Allison Cox. Storytelling In The Classroom. Unknown. Feb. 4 2011.www.dancingleaves.com
    •”In a society where parents lead busy lives and children are entertained by the impersonal communication media of films and television, storytelling can be an invaluable part of your program.”
    Chan, Aline G. The Art of the Storyteller. 1987. Feb. 4 2011. http://www.eldrbarry.net
    •”Studies have shown that humans retain only 20% of what they read, but they recall 80% of symbols.”
    Fredericks, Linda and Allison Cox. Storytelling In The Classroom. Unknown. Feb. 4 2011.www.dancingleaves.com
    How To Play
    •To start, select a theme. Try the “Story Teller” theme pack for free, and once you are ready to expand your stories, you can purchase other themes like the “Princesses & Knights” theme, “Pirates” theme, or “Space” theme.
    •Next add your players. Between 1-4 players can join in the fun. Add their names, which will be displayed on each page of the story so you can see who is telling the story.
    •You begin creating the story with the first player spinning the wheel. The wheel will land on a picture that will animate when you touch it.
    •When you are ready, touch the ‘Record’ button. This will start a 30 second timer and will begin to record what you say.
    •When you are done, touch the ‘Stop’ button. This will stop the recording and reset the timer. Otherwise, the timer will automatically stop the recording when the 30 seconds is up.
    •If you make a mistake and want to re-record your narration, touch the ‘Redo’ button. You will get another 30 seconds to narrate. You can redo your story as many times as you like.
    •When you are happy with what you recorded, touch the ‘Next Player’ button, and pass the iPhone or iPad to the next player. The picture will be removed from the wheel, and added to the storyline on the right of the wheel.
    •The next player will spin the wheel and record the next page of the story.
    •There are a maximum of 12 pages to a story, but you can end a story after only two pages. The last player should try to conclude the story. When they are done, they will be prompted to add a title to the story.
    •You are then presented with a number of options, and if you click the ‘Play’ button the story will play back. You can pause it at any time. If you want to play it back later, it can be found in the ‘Listen to Stories’ section off the main page.
    •To share a story, touch the “Share” button beside the story. You will be prompted with a choice of sharing an iBook version of the story or sharing online. iBook versions can only be played back on the iPhone or iPad with iBooks. You will then be presented with an email to send to the person you want to share. For sharing an iBook, the iBook will be added to the email as an attachment. For sharing online, the URL of your story will be added. Make your story public and share it with the world!
    Early Jamestown
    Victory Productions presents an interactive textbook exploration of the early days of the Jamestown settlement and the state of Virginia. Enjoy the rich interactive graphics and the engrossing story of a key moment in the history of the United States.
    Embedded videos chronicle the beginnings of the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English colony in North America.
    Clicking on key words provides definitions and pronunciation for academic vocabulary used in the text.
    Interactive timelines.
    Zoomable maps.
    Embedded assessments allowing students to check their understanding.
    This interactive version of Our Virginia was developed by Victory Productions and is part of the Virginia Department of Education’s Beyond Textbooks initiative to explore and test technical, social, and policy implications of textbook alternatives. Videos were provided by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia.
    History is fun and comes alive in Our Viriginia: Past & Present.

  4. 1. Rocksmith 2014 Edition

    An interactive way to learn the guitar and with classic music to learn with a virtual tutor. Players can plug any real guitar with a standard quarter-inch input jack into their game system and play through an in-depth library of music.

    2. Rock Band Blitz 2012
    From the Rock game series, Rock Band Blitz is a rhythm game where players can correspond to lead the guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keyboards. Players use a standard game console controller with customised controls to match the note on one track at a time, scoring points for each successful note hit.

    3. Kinect Sesame Street TV 2012

    With Kinect Sesame Street TV, children are invited to experience the world of Sesame Street alongside their favorite characters such as Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster and Elmo like never before. The magic of Kinect for Xbox 360 lets you share in the experience through visual and physical interactions with characters of Sesame Street, placing you in the Sesame Street experience.

    4. Quiz Party Nintendo 2012

    With over 2000 questions covering a wide variety of themes, it doesn’t matter what your favourite subject is, you could be asked a random selection of questions covering a varied range of themes Whether you are a whizz at History, Geography and Nature or if your knowledge is a little more current and you prefer Sport, TV and Films, there will be a question to suit everyone.

    5. Icon Pop Quiz

    ICON POP Quiz challenges players to name famous people, hit movie and TV shows and characters using imaginative, handcrafted visual clues inspired by each answer. The more accurately and quickly you respond, the better the score you’ll have to compete against friends worldwide

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