Simple machines game
Good examples exist of simple, effective educational games. The Simple Machines Game created by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is one of them.
In the game you control a charming little red creature named Twitch, as it collects four robot parts. You try to choose the variant of lever or other simple machine that will allow Twitch to expend the least effort. Aimed at children in grades 3-6, the game is colorful, engaging and well designed. It was nominated for one of this year’s Webby Awards, but lost to AOL’s spectacular “We Choose The Moon.”
“Simple Machines” is an effective, relatively quick game. It’s a shame that few activities of this type are designed for college students, but creating them requires commitment. Game development involves a dedicated group of individuals, including a subject matter expert (respected professor), graphic artists, programmers, and more. That kind of team is hard to assemble without significant funding. There are widely adopted standards for pre-college learning, so publishers and funding agencies are willing to take risks. Any ideas about where we find those incentives in higher ed?