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Leumas13

Teaching science through video games

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I'm a physics undergrad, and I'm working with a professor who's making a game called CellCraft (almost done!) that is designed to teach students (8th or 9th graders) about science. the game is a real time strategy game that puts you in the place of a cell. So you have to build up your cell, and neutralize free radicals and make ATP and fight viruses and such.

 

Everything was made scientifically accurate, for instance when you make a protein, your cell makes mRNA and sends it to the ribosome and so on. We also have written encyclopedia entries and tutorial screens for everything in the game.

 

In short, I'm wondering what you guys think. Whether it'll work or if you've tried something similar. If you're a teacher I'm curious whether you think this would help your students or simply be a review tool. And if you're a scientist whether you think a game can work as well as a text book.

 

You can find a trailer by searching on youtube, and I can give you more links if you'd like.

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It sounds kind of cool. It is a fact that children learn stuff by doing, and not droning it out of a boring book :)

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yea, one student we tested it on (to see if it actually taught) said she enjoyed "experiencing" it rather than reading about it

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actually, that's a great idea. i think a large number of students would find something like this very useful.

if future grants are possible i would concentrate on getting a contract with major game developer to improve graphics and playability, make it commercial. if not then this will work as the next best thing quite well i think.

 

speaking of which, is this game to be commercial or free?

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The game is going to be a free flash game, I'll be sure to link it when it's done, Until then the best I can offer is the blog (where I will be uploading screenshots to)

 

the only thing I would worry about with a major game developer is losing the science to add playability. This game walks the thin line between fun and educational, and it's a difficult balance to maintain. But it definitely is an interesting prospect.

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I like it as a supplement, but clearly not as a replacement of textbooks. One problem (but there is essentially the same as with high school or even some college textbooks) is that it can only semi-accurately incorporate those elements that are well known, and even then not in too much detail (considering the gaps of knowledge or in-depth accuracy that still exist).

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thats a good point. Personally I feel that it would make a fantastic introduction, that can later be elaborated on in more traditional ways. But it helps draw nice connections between organelles/enzymes and their function

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I think that sounds like a great idea. Any updates on the game progress or links to a completed version.

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I'm a physics undergrad, and I'm working with a professor who's making a game called CellCraft (almost done!) that is designed to teach students (8th or 9th graders) about science. the game is a real time strategy game that puts you in the place of a cell. So you have to build up your cell, and neutralize free radicals and make ATP and fight viruses and such.

 

Everything was made scientifically accurate, for instance when you make a protein, your cell makes mRNA and sends it to the ribosome and so on. We also have written encyclopedia entries and tutorial screens for everything in the game.

 

In short, I'm wondering what you guys think. Whether it'll work or if you've tried something similar. If you're a teacher I'm curious whether you think this would help your students or simply be a review tool. And if you're a scientist whether you think a game can work as well as a text book.

 

You can find a trailer by searching on youtube, and I can give you more links if you'd like.

 

 

For sure I want the game as soon as it is available. I love sim world/ city games and empire building games, up to the point where they wildly diverge from reality. I wish all the games were more realistic.

 

I think learning by doing is far better than reading a text and trying to remember all the facts that will be on a test. Plenty of people can ace test by memorizing facts, that they hold in memory long enough for the test and then forget. This is not equal to understanding. To win a game based on how things really work, you have to actually understand how things work, and you learn how they don't work, when don't get the result you want. This is really using our brains, which makes information stick, not taking the short cut of memorizing and then forgetting.

 

Seriously please email me of send me a PM when the game is available, or ready for testing. If I can figure out the game, anyone can, because I don't already know what needs to be known about the cell.

 

yea, one student we tested it on (to see if it actually taught) said she enjoyed "experiencing" it rather than reading about it

 

Absolutely! yes!

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You may want to read my previous post directly before yours, Athena. Also note that the thread is about a year old, and Leumas13 with his 8 posts in total probably doesn't hang around at sfn anymore.

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You may want to read my previous post directly before yours, Athena. Also note that the thread is about a year old, and Leumas13 with his 8 posts in total probably doesn't hang around at sfn anymore.

 

Thanks

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Pretty fun game, has nothing on AOE3 or medieval total war tho

 

great learning resource

Edited by keelanz

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