College education has long been confined to reading books. The wide use of apps, YouTube videos, and audiobooks over the years made it more fun and accessible. But, colleges seem to be reluctant to use video games as an educational tool. Most of them believe games to be nothing more than a waste of time.
It’s no wonder. Games like Dota 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may hinder academic progress. Many students resort to using literature study guides to keep up with their assignments. It is an easy way of dealing with an overwhelming amount of academic tasks in the shortest amount of time possible.
Although these games are great for developing skills, they don’t offer any real knowledge. But there are titles that do quite the opposite. They are not a replacement for the academic process and studying. But, the games are great for evaluating knowledge and understanding of subjects.
Civil engineering has always been a vital part of urban planning. Colleges that train future civil engineers can use Cities: Skylines as a teaching aid. Paradox Interactive’s title gives a great experience of what it’s like to design and manage cities.
The project offers various levels of city management. Students will start out with a simple town but it will grow in size and complexity as time goes on. Their job will be designing city districts and implementing policies in each of them. Each policy has its ups and downs and the game soon becomes a balancing act of trying to keep the population happy.
The game can be used to showcase problems with:
- Energy supply
These factors become more complicated as the game goes on. Gameplay is even harder because of the day & night cycle that has its own challenges. Teachers can create their own cities and share them with students. This will make teaching civil engineering even more fun and creative. The only limit is your imagination.
Farming Simulator 22
Getting a degree in agriculture is a great way to stay fit and earn money for the rest of your life. Studying with books and practice on the farms is not the only way of acquiring knowledge on the subject. Colleges can use Farming Simulator 22 as a learning tool for aspiring agriculturists.
The game allows them to become modern farmers. Players can build the farm of their dreams in European and American environments. It has many activities that focus on forestry, animal husbandry, and agriculture. Farming Simulator 22 even comes with a system of changing seasons.
The game offers over 400 farming tools and machines. They are from real companies such as Fendt, Valtra, John Deere, and CLAAS. Gamers use machines to plant and harvest various crops. These include potatoes, corn, cabbages, and wheat. If agriculture is not a student’s cup of tea, they can try raising cattle.
What’s even better, is that Farming Simulator 22 is not a solitary experience. Students can work on farms in pairs and groups. The game is even better thanks to the many free modifications created by its loyal fans.
Kerbal Space Program
There is nothing cooler than building your own spaceship and seeing it launch into space. Space aviation students can use this game to test their skills and experiment. The project also provides general information about how spaceships and rockets function.
Students play the role of a head of a space program. The twist is that the astronauts are aliens. Players have to capture asteroids and mine resources from space. The resources are spent on building various ship components. They must also build a variety of vehicles, as well as hire and train a crew of professional astronauts.
Players can explore star systems, planets, and moons. Kerbal Space Program seems to be very simple at first. In actuality, the game tests knowledge of physics and design. They must use both to make a ship that will launch and be strong enough to overcome planetary gravity.
The game has several modes: science mode, career mode, and sandbox. Each of them has its own challenges while the gameplay stays the same.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Pilot training requires a lot of time and effort. Earning a bachelor of aviation takes about 4 to 6 years. Before getting a diploma, students should know the inside of an airplane like their own hand. Of course, nothing beats practice in the field or on special simulators. But, students should be able to practice whenever possible.
This is where Microsoft Flight Simulator comes into play. It provides the best experience of flying a plane in the most realistic conditions. The project allows future pilots to hone their skills using digital planes. Vehicles range in size and controls from light planes to commercial jets.
Students can use the game to get acquainted with the flight panel. Planes can start, take off, and land. The game can take players to any of the 37 000 airports around the world. During their flights, they will cross various countries and continents. Future pilots can experience night flights, real-life weather, and atmospheric conditions.
The game’s gigantic 150 GB size is the only downside. With that said, it is still one of the best flight simulators to have come out in the past decade.
Astrophysics and astronomy have to be some of the most fascinating scientific fields. There is a great number of people who want to follow in the footsteps of Neil deGrasse Tyson. It would be great to get information about it not only from textbooks and visits to planetariums.
The creators of Universe Sandbox decided to create a game that can make anybody a master of the universe. Students are able to create, destroy, and manipulate large cosmic objects. These include planets, moons, and stars.
Creators promise that the game uses Newtonian mechanics for its N-body simulation. This is a simulation of a dynamic system of particles. The game is already available for desktops and VR. It supports:
- HTC Vive
- Oculus Rift+Touch
- Windows Mixed Reality
All the objects have real gravity, collision, climate, and material interactions. This way developers want to teach people about the majesty of the universe. The project is currently in the alpha stage but already looks amazing.
Video games are not just a source of mindless entertainment. They can be used to educate college students and the titles mentioned above prove this. Of course, it is by no means a replacement for formal education. But, it proves that video games can be more than they seem.