A Brief Examination of Past Learning Games, Wii Educational Games, and the Lack of “End Bosses”

A long time ago, someone decided that learning games – from the Commodore 64 all the way through to Wii educational games, today – don’t need levels, leveling, or the standard video game staple: the end boss. This needs to change.

From MathBlaster! on the Amiga to BrainAge on the DS, developers have ignored turning their games into recognizable video games by skipping this key element. It stems from a nasty beginning: laziness and tradition. Back in the 80s and early 90s, console video game developers enjoyed a relative monopoly. You could choose Sega, or you could choose Nintendo. Parents, desperate to attempt to shoehorn learning into their children’s gaming, would buy pretty much anything that promised to teach while it entertained. Unfortunately, some of that attitude survives to taint our Wii educational games to this day.

The one exception, prior to the Wii educational games era (around the turn of the millennium), “The Typing of the Dead,” was well-received by critics, parents (for the most part!), and gamers. It turned a classic arcade shooter, “House of the Dead,” into a typing instructor. Players are faced with “shooting” hordes of zombies by typing words that appear on-screen. The faster and more accurately you type, the faster and more accurately you “shoot” the zombies. The game progressed exactly the same as its arcade original, advancing through a house infested with all kinds of monsters. Each level was capped off with an end-of-stage boss, completing the disguise and fulfilling the educational game’s promise.

What “Typing of the Dead” did was to treat what might normally be a dry, boring subject – learning to type on a keyboard – and approach it from a gamer’s perspective. Speed and accuracy, inherent to the success of most typical video games, are also keys to typing. Why not approach Wii educational games in this same way? Why not include some of the tropes of our favorite games (beyond simply attaching a favorite character as your “coach,” a la “Mario Teaches X”)? With all the peripherals available, with all the casual gamers the Wii attracts, why not make games… Games? Why march on with this ugly procession of cartoon letters and animated math figures?

These boring educational games were and are branded by kids, with few exceptions, lifeless drags to be suffered through while mom and dad look on. There was so little in-game progression, little to look forward to or train for, just an endless succession of math problems or spelling questions. Game producers knew they needed to sink precious little money in these games, so long as their cover art included math symbols and “learning!” or “educational!” somewhere prominent. Few Wii educational games have broken from this sad beginning, but there’s a bit of hope.

Today, we’re seeing some serious innovation in Wii educational games. Finally, we’re seeing levels. We’re seeing progression and high-scores, instrumental in sparking gamers’ competitive nature. Some games have taken advantage of the Wii’s unique control design and peripheral-saturation by including a physical element to learning. Recent games have included exercise in their educational game for the Wii. Games track your progression and offer encouragement in the form of virtual coaches. Others have included platforming elements, adventure motifs, and other interesting ways to help gamers enjoy learning.

Still, though – a ten-year-old game is the single standing example of an educational game that actually includes the use of “end bosses.” The game industry, gamers, and parents would all do well to recognize the lack of “end boss” opponents in educational Wii games. By including stages and end bosses, as well as all of the recent innovations, we will see a huge improvement in educational video games. We must overcome this legacy of mediocrity. Let’s make our games fun again. Let’s make our video games… games!

Benefits of Fun Educational Games for Kids

There are a lot of fun educational games out there that parents can purchase in order for their children to make learning a fun activity for them. Kids love fun but integrating education with it is a great way to let your kids learn significant lessons while they are having a great time.

When choosing games for your kids, it is important to consider those that allow them to learn. Rather than allowing your kids to spend a lot of time playing games that will not make them learn something, you can instead let them use their time learning and getting educated about something. By letting your kids play educational games, they will be able to acquire new skills or improve the skills they already have and use the skills they newly learned.

There are some kids who seemed to think that learning is not an interesting thing. And as parents, it is our role to encourage them to integrate learning in their lives because this will make them better people in the future. But you should not make this sound a bit challenging for them because learning does not always have to be reading books. There are tons of fun educational games available today that children would love to play and at the same time would make them want to learn.

Learning can give your child a good time. Combining learning and fun will help parents get best results. The most common educations games that your child will enjoy learning includes brain games, reading games, math games, history games, board games, science games, spelling games, music games and many others.

There are a lot of reasons why as parents you should let your kids play with these games. It helps them sharpen their skills. It also allows them to learn team spirit that can help them a lot when they grow old. These games also help their physical strength. Most games involve carrying and lifting wooden blocks and learning to balance them. This will develop techniques on how to arrange these blocks.

Kids can also become creative when they play with these games. It also boosts their artistic and inventive characters. Educations puzzles for instance also helps make problem solving a great and fun activity to do.
There are many other fun educational games and tools that you can let your preschooler use including computer games. These are considered educational games that have tons of educational and at the same time fun games that you can let your child play everyday.

The Advantages in Using Online Educational Games

There are plenty of games to choose from online but they are not all made with the same quality or purpose. Despite the great desire of people to get a lot of entertainment out of these games, many are not stimulating for other parts of the brain other than the reflexes or by planning strategies for winning them. However there is a new trend moving toward online educational games and these have many distinct advantages to them.

Free Tutoring

There are some children that are left behind in the school system but they aren’t really noticed. It is not that they aren’t good children but they need some extra instruction. With online educational games, this extra instruction can be obtained without having to pay a tutor. Paying someone is expensive but the extra direction is sometimes very necessary. With all of the games that are online every topic can be located and the child can then be guided through there trouble spots.

Extra Challenges

Sometimes children have trouble in school because they are not challenged enough. With online educational games, these children can get the challenge that they need. They can choose their own levels and stimulate their brain as needed to keep them from getting bored. This not only helps to keep the child active and to keep them challenged but it will help them out later in life as well.

Practice during the Holidays

The holidays are times when students tend to forget what they have been taught. Using these games, they can not only remember what they have learned but also practice the skills as well. There are games for math, science, language and so many other topics that any child can practice any topic.

Taking Advantage of the Free Games

It is important to get a child the extra help that they need whether it’s because they need to catch up or they need the challenge or they need to the practice. These games can be the perfect solution for any of these reasons.