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Research,  April 28, 2005

Let the Games Begin

by Jenn Shreve

"Video games, once confiscated in class, are now a key teaching tool. If they're done right...Kurt Squire knew something unusual was happening in his after-school Western civ program. His normally lackluster middle and high school students, who'd failed the course once already, were coming to class armed with strategies to topple colonial dictators. Heated debates were erupting over the impact of germs on national economies. Kids who didn't know Pompeii from Plymouth Rock were suddenly mapping out the borders of the early Roman Empire...His secret? Sid Meier's Civilization III, one of the best-selling computer games in recent years. "It drives so much activity that you need to cut it off at the end," he says....
Kids are not ambivalent when it comes to video games: They love them. Young boys, especially, have been pouring quarters into slots since Computer Space, the first commercial arcade video game, appeared nearly 35 years ago. Though pixelated hits like Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong first stole gamers' hearts, less glamorous educational titles, like Oregon Trail (1974) and Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (1985), have held their own... "

URL: http://www.edutopia.org/magazine/ed1article.php?id=art_1268&issue=apr_05
Referred by: GLEF Edutopia News
Posted by hchung on April 28, 2005 | Research
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