The Unintended Education: An Educational Retrospective of Scorched Earth

In this ongoing column, I’ll take a look back at a past game that may not have been specifically intended to serve an educational purpose, but still managed to teach us lessons in its own way.

Today:  Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth, 1991 DOS/PC

Scorched Earth was a 1991 DOS-era shareware game that featured two or more opposing tanks that traded rounds of fire in an attempt to destroy the other first. The game featured extremely rudimentary graphics, a wide variety of weapons, utilities and gameplay options, and was one of the first examples of deformable terrain seen in a video game.  This game’s lessons stemmed from the wide number of variables that could change before or during combat, and the trial and error experimental nature of each players turn. Read more ›

Posted in Education

Which came first: the Curriculum or the Egg?

Chicken and the eggDeidre Witan and I have recently been part of some interesting chicken-or-the-egg discussions. They typically go in this cycle:

“If more games were used in classrooms, students would be more engaged and would learn more.”
“But students will never learn until the curriculum changes to better reflect what they need to know.”
“But the curriculum will never shift until we have new models for teaching.”
“But we won’t have new models unless we embrace technology and make use of it to create games, so students can be more engaged.”

…and so on. In brief, here are the two sides to the argument. You can decide which came first. Read more ›

Posted in Education