- Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:14 pm
Every educational game is based on the same thing:
You are given a question. You have options. If you choose the correct option, you get rewarded.
Sometimes the options are practically limitless, such as being able to type out an answer, but you get the idea.
Well, let's take something like a "match" game, and combine it with, say, a first-person shooter.
The "bad guy" coming at you may be a problem. Lets say you have a choice of weapons. You have to choose the right weapon (the correct answer), in order to destroy the bad guy. There is a punishment for hitting the monster with the wrong answer (maybe he gets faster?)
Or, for instance, take carmen sandiego, which teaches kids about geography and history. They are given information, and them must use that information in order to find their next step. This could be applied in many ways. In the simplest way possible, you are given some info, then you get to a some doors. Each door has a different word on it. There is someone to provide a "hint" as to which door is the correct path. Taking the correct path rewards you and taking the incorrect path punishes you.
These are standard principals in educational games. The only difference that I'm talking about is making it more expansive. Each successfully answered question would give you "xp" in that area. For instance, if you stay in the "math" section for a long time, you work up xp, which increases your level, which allows you to open up new doors, which presents more difficult math questions, and so on all the way up to advanced calculas.
To teach geography, you could have a transport system that emulates the real world. When you start off, you might only be able to go to the capitals of each country on a certain continent (the easy levels) and be required to go to every capital and learn them in order to go to another continent or to go to other places within each country, to learn additional information about the region.
There are many more creative things that can be done with this idea. What would be needed, though is people. You're absolutely right in saying that one person coudl not do this. However, one person COULD create a schema for a database of questions that educators from around the world could add too. One person could create or implement an existing open source MUD capable of interfacing with that database. One person could create a database of "students" and an interface for that database to add, alter, or delete accounts.
After the basic elements are set up, you could let a wiki-style content addition system take place. As long as there are certain rules, as defined by the above mentioned schema, anyone should be able to add new things to the game.