Some more favourite MEC games13-Sep-2011
Have you played any MEC games recently? A few months ago I wrote about some of my favourites and I thought I would offer a few more suggestions now. To do this I’ve been playing a few that I haven’t looked at in a while. Why not spend a few minutes reminding yourself of some or trying some that you haven’t tried before? They can be addictive – but tear yourself away and recommend them to your students. The addiction comes from the fact that they’re real games with proper gaming challenges; our developers talk about making sure that games have ‘stickiness’ – that is they should have features that make people want to keep on playing again and again. And of course, they do have pedagogic challenges as well so students will be practising their English while they play – at Easy, Average and Difficult levels.
Take a look at the Adventure Games. They take longer to play than the Word Games and the games from the Games Gallery but you can leave them and come back to them and pick up playing from where you left off. To do this, some of them have five ‘levels’ and you get a password that lets you back into the game at the level you left it.
Turtle the Time Tourist goes travelling around the ancient civilizations of the world: the Inca civilization, China, Rome, Greece, Egypt. He needs to collect the five missing pieces of a compass to get back to the 21st century. Having evaded gaming challenges like evil birds and snakes, he gets to a series of language challenges – vocabulary or grammatical ones – which he has to deal with correctly in order to continue. Each language challenge is thematically linked to the civilization Turtle is visiting so the students meet snippets of cultural and general knowledge as they move through the game. Each level brings a greater gaming challenge.
Astro Explorer takes technology as its theme as you have to help Captain Zakso pilot his craft out of an asteroid field and The Word is Not Enough stars Professor Keen whose Eggcellent Breakfast and Psychology of Goldfish games appear in the Games Gallery. In this game he visits various places in the English-speaking world – Sydney, Hong Kong, New York, Cape Town and London – in order to save the English language.
And finally take a look at Terraformer, the problem-solving game – great for your general English students but equally good for your business students – setting yourself up on a new planet and creating a successful interplanetary business in Space Pizza whilst negotiating with uppity alien traders can only be good both for your English and for your business skills.