Have you ever thought to yourself, “My child spends a lot of time playing those darn video games; I wish he or she would spend as much time studying”? Have no fear, Zing is here to help you avoid this with its educational video game series. Today, we’ll talk about some history-oriented video games that promise not to put your child to sleep at the controller, and put you a little more at ease about your child’s choices.
(Mac, PC, Nintendo Wii)
“Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” teaches a wide range of lessons which include math, reading, science and language arts. However, history/geography is the subject Carmen is most famous for teaching her users. During the game, your child attempts to solve puzzles and riddles using clues based on history (or other subjects, depending on the version of the game), with the goal of finally catching Carmen Sandiego.
(Mac, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and 3DS, tablet/smartphone app)
As a kid in elementary school, I always wondered why this game was on every computer in my school’s computer lab. But as I got older, I realized that this game was based on the stories and experiences of our country’s pioneers. “Oregon Trail” is meant to show your child what life was like for pioneers journeying out west.
During the game, your child takes on the role of the Wagon Leader, leading his or her family across the country and trying to survive. In newer versions of the game, your child has more in-game options. In addition to better graphics, the updated versions offer the opportunity to choose the type of wagon you want and the role you’ll play in the group (banker, cook, hunter, etc.), among other things.
(Mac, PC, Linux, tablet/smartphone app, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS)
“Civilization Revolution” is like an amped-up virtual version of the classic board game Risk. To start, your child picks a civilization. With their chosen civilization, your child sets out to rule the world (well, at least this virtual one). There are several ways you can win the game, including cultural, scientific or domination victory (everyone’s favorite).
Throughout the game, your child is encouraged to grow their civilization larger by building famous monuments (such as the library at Alexandria), using great people (such as Albert Einstein), or taking domain by force. While it may seem a little violent, Civilization is rated E for everyone ages 10 and up.
If you’d like more information about video games that can benefit your children, be sure to check out the Open Education Database for a great list of games.
Have a favorite game that we forgot to mention? Looking for other educational video game categories? Let us know in the comments section and maybe we’ll cover it next.