1. civilization

Sid Meier
Civilization was also a wonderful way to learn about history. You began as a single
group of settlers in 4000 BC and attempted to struggle through to the present
day via hundreds of technological discoveries, civic buildings, political systems and
military units. Much of the historical content is obviously simplified, but it
nonetheless offers an outstanding survey of the multitude ways in which different
societies have developed over the last six millennia. Here, the role of the ruler
(i.e. you) is important, but the success or failure of your civilization depends just
as much on fundamentals such as local terrain and on contingencies such as luck in
battle. Social and economic historians would surely approve.
The incredible machines
• The general goal of the games is to create a series of
Rube Goldberg devices: arrange a given collection of
objects in a needlessly complex fashion so as to
perform some simple task (for example, "put the ball
into a box" or "start a mixer & turn on a fan".)
• Available objects ranged from simple ropes and
pulleys to electrical generators, bowling balls, and even
cats and mice to humans, most of which had specific
interactions with or reactions to other objects (for
example, mice will run towards nearby cheese).
The incredible machines
• The levels usually have some fixed objects that
cannot be moved by the player, and so the
only way to solve the puzzle is carefully
arrange the given objects around the fixed
• There is also a "freeform" option that allows
the user to "play" with all the objects with no
set goal or to also build their own puzzles with
goals for other players to attempt to solve.
The incredible machines
• Notably, the games simulated not only the
physical interactions between objects, but also
ambient effects like varying air pressure and
• The engine does not use a random number
generator in its simulation of physics, assuring
that the results for any given "machine" are
• There are also hints. (For example "Place the
toaster here" or "We need to move that cat with
a conveyor belt").
Educational importance
• Learners can control their navigation of the
• Games can be adapted to the individual pace
of the learner
• Game-based tasks may require students to
formulate hypotheses and experiment
Games Encourage Interactive
First of all, good learning allows the student to
be a producer rather than a passive consumer
of his own learning.
Games also feature inquiry-based learning.
Games Provide Feedback and Adapt
to the Learner
• Games allow players to customize their
difficulty level or style of play. Students in the
traditional classroom may feel material is too
hard or too easy, and they cannot try on
different learning styles
Games Utilize Situated Meanings
• Traditional classrooms tend to focus heavily
on facts, definitions and isolated events, and
another of Gee's learning principle is that
“humans are poor at using verbal information
when given lots of it out of context and before
they can see how it applies in actual
situations” . Games act as learning scaffolds,
delivering information to the player just in
time when they need to use it
Games Create Meaningful
• As players explore their game world, they
also create memorable, rich experiences
which can be used to retrieve and reflect
upon knowledge.
• As concepts become more difficult in school,
“students no longer see science as connected
to the real world and lose interest in the
• taking on the role of a scientist or
mathematician, players can watch how their
knowledge applies in these realistic
Games Let Students Experience the
• games let students experience it and actively
seek out the information
themselves, encouraging students to use
problem-solving and scientific inquiry skills.
• Games allow students to immerse themselves
in a concept without a constricted approach.
Games Can Facilitate Technology
Handheld device for Environmental Detectives from the MIT
Education Arcade

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