University game break.

The Sims 3 Collection
The Sims 3 Collection (Photo credit: origami_potato)

Not everything is entirely educational and good for you. Sometimes a game is just a game. I haven’t figured out how to properly spoil the fun of the University expansion for the The Sims3, so the girls are still enjoying it. Perhaps they’re goal-setting in a way. Thinking about life after high school.
{Perhaps I could just tell myself that.}

Hope real life isn’t much like this game for them. I didn’t have the traditional university/Greek experience, so that’s literally all Greek to me.

We did try to do some experiments with the Sims3 game play. Red2 tried to make juice with ingredients of different quality ratings. They score the produce you grow with a simple system: good, great, excellent, etc. She found clearly that you could sell the sqeezings that were made with finer ingredients for more money. The extra sim work was worth the extra ‘simoleons.’

Indiana Jones movies map
Indiana Jones movies map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought the traveling expansion would be a tad bit useful. We had some conversations about China, Egypt, and France, but in the end, they were just game play. Brushing up against geography a bit.

Maybe some good geography lessons would be to do an Indiana Jones-style map of all the locations in James Bond movies or all the places on the globe that Jennifer Garner went in Alias. They’re a bit young for Alias still, but I bet there are some good ‘sight-seeing’ value to these movies. Did they actually film in all the locations or was it just movie magic? That would be a good research project.

Have any subversively devious and fun ways to talk about geography?

Mine Minecraft Miracle Mire

The Minecraft Periodic Table of Elements
& the Anatomy of a Creeper.

It’s a game.
It’s genius.
It’s a game!
They’re learning!
They’re fighting.
Just zombies.
How is it learning?

If you’ve not heard about Minecraft, {really? is that even possible?} it’s a tiny little indie game about digging in the dirt and building with the materials you gather. I found it a while ago and thought the kids would love. They did. They loved it so much we had to figure out how to turn it into school to somewhat justify the attention they’re giving the game.

It turns out it wasn’t hard. Red2 enjoys mining for diamonds. In her travels in the real world that sparked an interest in geology. She’s picked up a knack for identifying rocks. She’s always been the one who lingers the longest in the museum store looking at the crystals and filling her $1 bag.

As an assignment, she needed to build a working electrical circuit with redstone. Redstone is the power source in the game. She made a sculpture of a car with red wool that she dyed in the game. Then she outfitted it with working windshield wipers, doors that opened and closed and seat-belts.

Red1 build her own Mayan temple complete with lava traps. I’m not sure Indiana Jones would be able to escape that one.

There are a lot of schools that are putting Minecraft to use to teach basic computer skills. The girls have ventured into the server space and with just a little nudge, they took a ruined village and built up a great city on a server, organized a team of other players to move in and build a huge wall around it, expand the buildings. They raise crops and livestock in the game and sell crafted items in little stores they build.

It is a game. But there’s a lot in there and they’ve found a lot of ways to make learning fun.

Their next goal is to master the art of installing the many game mods and to perhaps start programming their own. Nudge, nudge.

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It’s all a game to me – Blogfest

Mouse Trap (board game)Image via Wikipedia
$10 dollars at the toy store (circa 1981)

My favorite games of all time:

1. Mousetrap – the boardgame. This is the game I remember loving as a kid because I had to save up and buy it myself when I was about 10 years old.

ShadowrunImage via Wikipedia

2. Shadowrun – a roll-playing game we played in the early nighties for a few weeks. We had used up our enthusiasm for Dungeons and Dragons. Shadowrun, in a few words, is Blade Runner meets Dungeons and Dragons. Very cool. Requires your full attention and creativity.

3. Crazy 8’s – the card game my mom taught me and my kids are learning. Best thing: No batteries.

READ Favorite Games in the “It’s All Fun & Games Blogfest”

My family chimes in:

Red1 – Howrse, Spore, and Sims 3

Red2 – Howrse, Zoo Tycoon, Spore Galactic Adverture

Mrs. SFDada – Solitaire, Gin Rummy, Sorry

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