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Instructive Videogames

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Idea threads

USB

New Contributor
Jan 3, 2022
7
5
Italy
Hi to everyone,
I love to study, to learn but I hate school with their education system (I wrote in fact education and not instructive).
I personally didn't play so videogames when I was young (expect Supercell's games) and for example I love monopoly where I learned the power of buying passives. Naturally I won't ever learn this at school.
For this I was thinking about instructive videogames : instead of using a textbook unanimated you can study the WW2 by being the general of an army with all the information. Learn calculus (which I love although with my useless teacher) or physics with intuitive and interactive games.

The business model would be a freemium system with the possibility to upgrade our avatar with skills. Possibly online and also offline mode.
What do you think about it?
Would you use it for your studying?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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What do you think about it?

Absoluitely love it. And with a new trend emerging for home schooling, this could be an integral part of that evolution, not to mention a lot of biz developement opportunities. IMO, a few new billionaires will be minted after they successfully create a "home schooling" platform to tackle this growing audience, your idea is tangential to that need.
 

jdm667

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Jan 27, 2020
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I second MJ here. I think a lot more people will be interested in home school or online learning options in the coming years.

A lot of parents want to avoid public schools for their kids (or find a more affordable alternative to expensive private schools).

Parents might even want educational video games as a supplement to the regular school curriculum (if the kids are going to play video games anyway, it might as well be educational!)

You could teach all sorts of subjects through historical scenarios. For example, with a WW2 scenario like you mentioned, you could teach:
  • Manufacturing - how do things get made? (where do you mine raw materials, what route do you use to ship them, how do you process them, what goes into building cars, tanks, planes, etc.)
  • Supply chain (how do you re-route food deliveries after the enemy takes a bridge, to avoid starving your population?)
  • Computer science (how & why did Alan Turing develop computers to break Germany's Enigma machine?)
  • Decision analysis - once you break the Enigma machine, Germany will switch to another encryption system if they know that you have broken their ciphers. Which German ships/troops do you intercept, and which ones do you let go? (in effect "playing dumb" so Germany doesn't figure out that you broke their encryption)
  • Language - the U.S. used the Navajo language (a Native American language unknown to the Axis powers) to gain an edge in secret communications without the need for encryption.
  • Physics - the science behind the atomic bomb, the scientists involved, and the race to develop it.
  • Math - calculating trajectories (muzzle velocity, angle of elevation, gravity, etc.) to figure out how to aim guns and hit a target. Also: how quickly can ships, planes, or infantry move - and can they intercept an enemy force in time?
You could have lots of fun with this - and I think students (and maybe grown-ups!) might have fun with it as well.
 

rpeck90

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 26, 2016
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United Kingdom
Hi to everyone,
I love to study, to learn but I hate school with their education system (I wrote in fact education and not instructive).
I personally didn't play so videogames when I was young (expect Supercell's games) and for example I love monopoly where I learned the power of buying passives. Naturally I won't ever learn this at school.
For this I was thinking about instructive videogames : instead of using a textbook unanimated you can study the WW2 by being the general of an army with all the information. Learn calculus (which I love although with my useless teacher) or physics with intuitive and interactive games.

The business model would be a freemium system with the possibility to upgrade our avatar with skills. Possibly online and also offline mode.
What do you think about it?
Would you use it for your studying?

In the 90's, my parents bought my brother & I "Wiggins in Storyland" which was very similar to what you're describing. Few people know that Kevin O'Leary "got rich" selling Reader Rabbit around the same time.

There is a framework I found several weeks ago called Ruby2D which would be a great way to provide a native set of builds for it (Ruby is extremely simple to code in). Alternatively, there is something called the Electron framework which gives you the ability to make HTML/JS/CSS websites into native apps that can even be put into the Microsoft store. Some of the world's most popular desktop apps are powered by it.

I would drop the avatar/progression side of it because most people will lose interest after a while, although it might be good if you plan on having a large number of topics.

how & why did Alan Turing develop computers to break Germany's Enigma machine?

Tommy Flowers developed the first computer. He's often overshadowed by Turing.
 
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loop101

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Mar 3, 2013
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Hi to everyone,
I love to study, to learn but I hate school with their education system (I wrote in fact education and not instructive).
I personally didn't play so videogames when I was young (expect Supercell's games) and for example I love monopoly where I learned the power of buying passives. Naturally I won't ever learn this at school.
For this I was thinking about instructive videogames : instead of using a textbook unanimated you can study the WW2 by being the general of an army with all the information. Learn calculus (which I love although with my useless teacher) or physics with intuitive and interactive games.

The business model would be a freemium system with the possibility to upgrade our avatar with skills. Possibly online and also offline mode.
What do you think about it?
Would you use it for your studying?

I still remember the fantasy world maps from the RPG games we played in the 80s. I learned a lot of rote American knowledge when I had to formally learn them in French. Kids absorb things they are focused on without even trying, so I have always liked the idea of subliminal education. I think the knowledge should be a byproduct of the gameplay, not the goal or even primary mechanism. For example, you could probably teach carpentry in a VR game, by having the character have to assemble something useful.

I wonder if VR will change the way assembly instructions are done, "Congratulations! You bought this bookshelf that needs some assembly, and you get this free VR game to play while you build it!"
 

SharpeningBlade

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May 26, 2021
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San Francisco, CA
Educational video games have been under research for decades. Thanks to rpeck90 for reminding me about Kevin O'Leary's Reader Rabbit.

I took a grad course in Georgia Tech's online computer science degree called Educational Technology, I was focused on gamification in educational technology. Did a bunch of research but ultimately withdraw from the course since I felt like grad school is just horrendous and its a bunch of useless busywork and bureaucracy. I don't want to do that for another two to three years.

That said, I do feel like the education system is about to collapse and I think MJ is absolutely right.

There's a goldmine for the taking.

There's a problem though. Many people have had the idea to build a game such as you say. How many have profited from it?

The cost of developing a game is very high. Couple that with the fact that knowing the best way that a student can learn is not a video game problem. It's a psychology problem, a learning problem. And it's unsolved, mostly.

On top of that, there is scant research showing a causal link between educational games and learning outcomes. Still, there is some promising research in the field. For example, neurobiologists at the University of California found that immersing yourself in 3D gaming environments can enhance the formation of memories by stimulating your hippocampus, a region of your brain associated with complex learning.

I recommend using google scholar x SciHub if you would like to dig into the area further. You will need a large amount of skills or you will need to hire several people with good skills. The time commitment is very high. You could produce a minimum viable product though and try to get investors.

Also, don't underestimate the power of a good book.

Sometimes you just have to slog through things, read them, and work them over in your head, write it out on paper.

Audio-visual input in the form of an immersive video game might not be the most effective way to learn. It could be, the research is just nebulous on the topic. There seems to be an active element to learning. You need inputs, and outputs. You need feedback and then basically you just need to adjust your output until you get the proper feedback.

Here's another issue. You can spend 2 years developing a ww2 video game but I can just get a book and learn about it in 2 weeks reading for a couple hours per night probably. So you need to give a person some type of substantial incentive to make that viable.

Nevertheless, again, educational technology will be a gold mine. I'm happy to hear MJ mention that it may mint some billionaires. Come to think of it, with my background I may be uniquely positioned to pull something like this off as well.

This idea warrants further research to say the least. Keep in mind, there's already Udemy, Youtube, and lots of places where you can learn online for free or very cheap already. See if you can map out all the value attributes of your idea and ways in which you can improve on them, and find out which ones other learning platforms don't offer or underdeliver on.
 
Last edited:

Sarthak_Tyagi

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 23, 2021
56
31
Hi to everyone,
I love to study, to learn but I hate school with their education system (I wrote in fact education and not instructive).
I personally didn't play so videogames when I was young (expect Supercell's games) and for example I love monopoly where I learned the power of buying passives. Naturally I won't ever learn this at school.
For this I was thinking about instructive videogames : instead of using a textbook unanimated you can study the WW2 by being the general of an army with all the information. Learn calculus (which I love although with my useless teacher) or physics with intuitive and interactive games.

The business model would be a freemium system with the possibility to upgrade our avatar with skills. Possibly online and also offline mode.
What do you think about it?
Would you use it for your studying?
I am currently in 11th grade in school and I also hate the current education system. If someone told me something like this exists i would definitely use it. One thing you need to tackle is how would you explain complex topics through them. Like in calculus there are both basic and advanced questions, for basic there are stuff out there but if you can tackle both the basic and advanced problems and concepts through your game, it would be hella great imo.
 
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evanwilson

New Contributor
Jan 9, 2020
5
2
Hi to everyone,
I love to study, to learn but I hate school with their education system (I wrote in fact education and not instructive).
I personally didn't play so videogames when I was young (expect Supercell's games) and for example I love monopoly where I learned the power of buying passives. Naturally I won't ever learn this at school.
For this I was thinking about instructive videogames : instead of using a textbook unanimated you can study the WW2 by being the general of an army with all the information. Learn calculus (which I love although with my useless teacher) or physics with intuitive and interactive games.

The business model would be a freemium system with the possibility to upgrade our avatar with skills. Possibly online and also offline mode.
What do you think about it?
Would you use it for your studying?
For sure! This made me remember my school days. I used to be a guy who hate books, making notes but loves video games. My friend's were always wondering how I am able to understand video game stories (because knowing English was a thing). I never took English seriously as a subject, never had a problem scoring high. All thanks to video games. Can't wait to see how games continue to help students in how many ways.
 

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