Here’s a neat example of a very well produced, instructionally designed game called Admongo. It’s a cute platformer, in the current style of Ben 10 type graphic characterisation. This is a step in front of Poptropica, Pearson Education’s subtle venture into games – as it explores a distinct topic – advertising.
It is aimed at 5th and 6th Graders, and comes with all the lesson planning curriculum materials needed to allow kids to explore the world they are immersed in. I believe this is not (yet) blocked by the Department of Education. It is worth noting how this game has recognized the emotional domain need to create engagement, by creating an avatar, something often missing from edu-games. It is developed with Scholastic Inc, and a pleasing step forward, though obviously not an open-world and very much in the eLearning model.
The lesson activities are typical of the kind of thing Scholastic would have you do – print this out, make a poster etc., but don’t let that put you off – if you’re new to the idea of seeing a game motivate students, unsure about how to integrate game play into the curriculum, this is a great place to start. I like the way it didn’t ask for any personal details (though kids will forget, so write it down), and was pretty easy to get into and use. The game itself is quite dull, so don’t expect kids to love it for too long, but it does give teachers a road-map to think about the constructive alignment of games with outcomes and activities.