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5 Culturally and Historically Relevant Games That Are Useful for Learning

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5 Culturally and Historically Relevant Games That Are Useful for Learning
5 Culturally and Historically Relevant Games That Are Useful for Learning

The raging debateabout whether video games should be incorporated into educational curriculums continues. The ‘nay’team is mostly comprised of teachers, parents, and education policymakers who have probably never lifted a console controller in their lives, and who constantly have to deal with game-addicted kids.

The ‘yes’ team on the opposite end of the spectrum is mostly composed of teens, students, and young adultswho prefer a more technological approach to everything, including learning.

Research has already proven that there are massive benefits to incorporating game-based learning approaches in schools. If you were asked to write a complex paper justifying the use of gaming as a learning tool, an online essay writer would probably provide research that proves gamers develop spatial, cognitive, and hand-eye coordination skills over their non-gaming peers.

Another benefit which this article aims to uncover is the fact that some games are historically or culturally relevant, with a great deal to be learned from them.

Some Games Are a Good Source of Historical Information

Okay, we understand that for your essay or research history paper, you might only be limited to primary and secondary sources, therefore including sources from games might not cut it. Also, the primary purpose of games may be to entertain and not to educate; therefore, developers might favor fun over accuracy.

Still, beyond a pleasant and enjoyable gaming experience, there is much that can be learned about real-life events from some of the finest gaming titles ever released. Since game developers, producers, and scriptwriters spend a great deal of time researching historical narratives, you can benefit greatly from this knowledge. 

Here are 5 games that accurately depict real events, places, or characters.

5 Culturally and Historically Relevant Games That Are Useful for Learning
5 Culturally and Historically Relevant Games That Are Useful for Learning

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005)

If you’re going to make a first-person shooter game based on actual war combat, make sure to get it right. The Brothers in Arms series is spot on in this regard, with everything from locations, weaponry, characters, and the motion of events hitting the target. The game devs even signed up a retired army colonel and military director for the scriptwriting, and to make sure that all tactics, events, and weaponry showcased were correct.

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a great way to learn about the 101stairborne infantry division that was dropped behind German lines in operation Albany on the way to Normandy. You’ll learn such historically accurate events such as the Battle of Bloody Gulch, and the push into Carentan, including all the dates and individuals involved.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (2014)

Most popular war-themed video games center on World War 2. Valiant Hearts is a nice exception, not only because of its take on World War 1, which is far less coveredbut because of its unique approach to gameplay and presentation, which is far from first-person shooting and combat. This is a great opportunity to learn a lot about the Great War for your essay or research paper.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War has splendid art direction, with animation-themed visuals, while the director’s take on the negative consequences of war is impressive. The game has numerous puzzles to be solved about real historical facts, and there are multiple source documents to be collected as one plays the game.

The game is presented as more of a comic rather than PG-rated gore, which is a good way for younger students to learn about World War 1.

L.A Noire (2011)

This action-adventure open-world game takes you back to 1947 Los Angeles, where you play the role of Cole Phelps, a detective who has come back home from the war and solves cases by looking for and interrogating suspects. As you solve cases, you rank higher, from a regular officer to a vice detective.

While the plot isn’t necessarily historically accurate in any respect, the setting of the game with regards to Film Noire and the setting of a post-World War 2 Los Angeles is incredibly accurate. This extends to the couture culture, dialects, and many other facets of human interaction.

Pandemic II (2008) and Plague Inc. (2012)

The world is currently grappling with a pandemic that has all but brought the global economy to a halt. Yet there are numerous other things that we could be facing; tornadoes, earthquakes, famines, wars, you name it.

Pandemic II is an old browser-based flash game developed by Orange Wombats, which simulates viruses, parasites, or bacteria releases to create a pandemic. Students can add symptoms such as fever, vomiting, sneezing, dysentery, etc. as they build their simulation. The aim is to see how fast and how far the created disease can spread and what the effects would be. For example, countries can mitigate effects by shutting down airports, schools, borders, etc.

The goal is to see what human interventions lead to the spread of global diseases, and what measures would be useful to curb the spread of such diseases and eliminate pandemics.

Plague Inc. is more of a modern version of this game with the same strategy concepts. There are expanded options of pathogens, including bio-weapons, fungus, prion, and nano-viruses.

Sounds eerily familiar and timely, doesn’t it?

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