By gorkamorkaorka 24 Comments
I grew up playing a few of these in the late 90's, early 2000's. The Oregon Trail: 3rd Edition "Now there are three Oregons!", Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?, MindMaze, the Magic School Bus demo that came with Windows 95 (YOU KNOW THE ONE), Reader Rabbit, and then a game with an interactive farm and jungle. Also, I watched people in my 5th grade class play Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? and Math Blaster. Would you play an educational game made for adults? Does your child-like hunger for knowledge still exist?
(Can't figure out how to indent this damn thing) The second question is, do they even make educational games anymore? Being an adult now removes me from the world of children's video games so I wouldn't really know, but judging from the Quick Look of Oregon Trail for the 3DS, even that series is dead in the area of education. Maybe games have become so expensive to make that educational ones have fallen by the wayside like some other genres. I don't think that stops some indie-developer from making one though but the issue is if the audience for it exists, especially for the older crowd. (I actually don't have any proof of dying genres from increased development costs. It just FEELS true.)
I would readily play an educational game if it was fun (I only play fun games) and it existed. The only real experience I have recently is a mod for Rome: Total War named Europa Barbarorum. A bunch of modders didn't like what Creative Assembly did with that period of time. Mostly by making Ptolemaic Egypt into New Kingdom Egypt because these damn kids today will see the Egyptian faction and say "What the hell is this? Where are my pyramid units?" Even though New Kingdom Egypt didn't build any pyramids. The mod was filled with historical fluff information and if you cared to learn more about something, you could take your time and read the descriptions. I'm assuming they did their research correctly, but it showed me how weird the world was back then. Weird is probably the wrong world, but it did not look like what other depictions of the ancient world would have shown you. It was surprising, really. Do you know what a falx is? It's a crazy weapon. I ended up putting over 300 hours into it. I had almost as much fun playing, as I did learning!
Other than Europa Barbarorum, I can't think of any modern educational games except maybe simulators and maybe Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. In retrospect, the only thing I really learned from The Oregon Trail: 3rd Edition was that poisonous berries almost always look poisonous.