Friday, February 17, 2012

Part 2 -- Math Video Games

This is a continuation of my previous post about a webinar by Keith Devlin. Only two more video games were mentioned specifically. At the end of the webinar, Devlin made some good points about what video game designers should and should not do when developing games. I captured the screen for things to do as I think he made some great points here.

Here are the other two mentions of math video games. I'd love to know if you have found other effective math video games you would add to a list of the best of the best available now.

Mind Research Institute -- Good interaction goes a long way in conveying mathematical concepts. On par with Angry Birds in that students get interested in the character, Jiji. The program uses visual objects instead of symbols, starting at a pictorial representation of math which is much easier to understand for most people than the abstract symbols. Symbols eventually appear, but not until after students understand the skill on a pictorial level. There's a context, but not a real world.

And what about casual games with underlying math reasoning like Sudoku, but also others like Tetris? Instead of the teacher telling students they are wrong, the game tells them by the puzzle not working out right or the inability to achieve at a desired level.

Motion Math -- Nice, tactile instrument that teaches one skill.


  1. While I agree with some of the thoughts of Keith there is a underlying benefit from all game play types. Whether we realize it or not, playing games can be educational in more ways than we observe on the surface. Such examples are MMO games that require leading groups of people to accomplish a task, calculating "math" to determine if the group can accomplish the given goal (normally slaying some monster for loot), and even grammar and composition when writing out instructions to the group via the chat feature.

    There are a lot of things games can be used for, both good and bad. Let's just not forget that often the overlooked benefits are not discussed. As in my MMO example, most would usually say the person playing that game has "no life".

  2. I may have not given enough credit to the games Keith mentioned. He reiterated several times during the webinar that the games he used as examples were ones he thought were excellent games. He didn't speak poorly of them. He only highlighted what some games did well, but also there limitations.

    What MMO games involve tasks where students have to do math? I would love to see a game like this. The MMO's I've seen involve some strategy, but I've never seen calculations involved.

  3. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)