In my previous post, I talked about Borderlands – a great FPS (First Person Shooter) game.
Games like Borderlands are created using a 3D game engine. I’ve been able to get over the sadness that came with the cancellation of my favorite TV show – 24 – through the (virtual) blast I’ve had playing First and Third Person Shooters. Now – instead of asking – what would Jack Baur DO? I find myself playing his part…
Similar to Flashcards, First and third Person Shooters are such a skill-and-drill concept. Except they have the potential to immerse the player (I mean of course learner) with an experience in which their growing knowledge is engaged in foreword progress in the game. And what is really great about foreword progress in a game is its immediate reward system – which leads to a growing self-confidence as achievements are received and levels are reached.
So, certainly things that need to be memorized through drill are candidates for First and Third Person Shooters– right?
Exactly. That brings me to a BIG SHOUT OUT to Big Brainz’s Timez Attack. If you have kids who are learning their multiplication tables – this is a game that is worth checking out. It is basically a 3D Third Person Shooter where your child shoots the answers to multiplication questions that appear on a monster’s chest. Instead of aiming a weapon, the weapon are the numbers on your PC (or Mac’s) keyboard.
I first heard of this game when our youngest daughter was in third grade. She had this most amazing teacher that diligently searched for the best learning software.
One day our daughter was excitedly jumping up and down. Her arms were flailing above her head as she begged us to install Timez Attack. She had played Timez Attack at school. What a hoot! My daughter is playing a Third Person Shooter during school hours….
Before I go on –> Another HUGE SHOUT OUT to the many teachers that have been such positive guides to our children!!!
For our daughter, playing Timez Attack was a much better time than grinding through multiplication flashcards.
I don’t see – or even advocate – a game to displace another activity. Rather – I truly believe that game companies can create awesome games using 3D engines that teachers recommend as just one additional option.
This interactive/direct feedback/rewards system way to learn seems to me to be a great way to reinforce what is being learned through Flashcards and other methods. AND self-confidence is being built because of the immediate gratification that comes with conquering a software game.
As we prepare Flashcards for multiplication results or vocabulary words maybe we should ask… Would our kids benefit from first and third person shooters where the skill involved is the entry of important facts? I say yes.