#etlead What Serious Games Exist For People 13+?


I have to start by saying that I am brand new to the world of gaming.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of gaming is of course the World of Warcraft.  I have always been against gaming because of how much time it takes in peoples lives but after listening to Jane McGonigal I am beginning to see how it can have a positive impact on people’s lives.  There are many games out there that I found when I did a google search.  I found a lot of games related to the military, medical field, games that reach out to teens, games for people living with cancer, games about different countries and problems they are facing, and other life crisis games.  After looking at many of these games and listening to the videos, I have changed my perspective even more because I have began to see the real value some of these games can have for people.  Two of the main benefits that come to mind are that these games can help people to heal themselves and they can cause empathy.  I am not fully sold on playing serious games but I would say after this week the idea has really began to grow on me.


Below are a list of a few of the games I found, the site that I found these particular ones on was http://www.gamesforchange.org:

  • “Dumb Ways to Die” http://www.dumbwaystodie.com, this game is about the dumb ways people die and gives you the smart way to live.  It makes you think about being more careful in certain situations.
  • Climate Change http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/climate-defense/.  This game allows you to look at ways the atmosphere is being distroyed and to try to stop climate change with things that reduce Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.Climate screen shot
  • Code Fred Survival mode http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/code-fred-survival-mode/.  This game has players think about your body and what it needs to survive by making the character survive while he is lost in the wilderness.  Video of game http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CjhWJmvx0x4 

7 responses »

  1. Megan, I totally agree with you about games taking over a person’s life. Games can be great fun but we must also temper that with face to face time and conversation with actual people. I play World of Warcraft with my family and we try to keep our time online or in-game to a balanced amount with our other responsibilities. One of the cool things that I’ve seen in the game are the notes and tips from Blizzard the designers to remember to balance your game with your life and live outside the game. Its great for even a game developer to recognize the importance of life outside of the internet and virtual world.
    The thing I like about games in education is the opportunity to extend students learning and sparking new ideas straight from the students. I also found http://www.gamesforchange.com and I was shocked at how many games were out there. I had a hard time finding ones that I really like and thought could be used in the classroom. I think the climate change would be great for a class to play whether it was Science, Math, or English class. As an elementary teacher I my still stuck looking for games that would work.

    • Leslie, I think it is great that you use games for family time! What a fun way to spent time together. I also have a difficult time finding things that will work in elementary classes.

    • Thanks so much for the link to the “Games For Change” website! I’m working on an idea to work through some game theory / History / Geography using games and this looks like a great resource for that.

  2. Meagan,
    I totally get where you are. I’ve seen the damage game addiction can cause in relationships. http://www.video-game-addiction.org/ Games, inappropriately used, can have a negative effect on learning and home life. I am excited about the “games for change” idea and look forward to see what leaders in the field, like Jane McGonigal will produce. As an elementary instructor, how do you see games for change being applied in the elementary classroom? I’ve tried to get my son to play games like, Sproutster HD with limited success (even when I explained to him that playing the game can help other children around the world). Do you have any ideas? http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/11/sproutster-spell-words-and-support-un.html

    • I have not thought too much about how I would use games in my class, I see them as rewards to students. I would think that your son would love to play these games. This is really something that I am going to have to reflect on this year before I go back into the classroom.

  3. Megan, I just commented on Leslie’s blog as well, but I thought I would share with you as well. I was also on the Games for Change Website. I looked at the Games for Change Winners for 2013.
    Here is one site that lists them:

    One game that my daughter and I played was Quandry. This game won Game of the Year. I really liked how the player had to make decisions based on the facts, skills, and opinions presented by the community members. I also liked that this game is for ages 8-14. I realize we are focusing on games for older students, however in order for it to be more useful for me as a teacher I need to spend some time looking for serious games for younger students in addition to looking up games for this class.

    Happy searching!
    Sara L.

  4. I tried out the Fred survival game. It was a lot of fun. It was a bit frustrating without mouse, but still fun. It succeeded in making learning about body systems a must do!

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