Teaching Through Gaming

Games have been used in many ways to supplement learning, expounding on various subjects and making learning fun for the child.  I’m leaning towards this as well, for reading at present time, though not in the sense that many folks may be accustomed.

I recently began playing the game Everquest 2 in my spare time. EQ2 is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) set in the fantasy land of Norrath.  Players can play any of a myriad of races (elves, dwarves, trolls, ogres, fairies, and more) and classes (druids, fighters, rangers, wizards, warlocks, and more) and adventure through a vast land populated by fantasy creatures.  This was the first MMORPG  that I ever played, and nostalgia has brought me back.

Hannah spending some time crafting in EQ2.

Out of the eternal curiosity of childhood, Hannah was curious about the game. She plays Minecraft on her own, but has asked about the games I play lately, and EQ2 was no exception.  I created her a free account of her own, and she has adventured both on her own and with me.

As the name indicates, there are many quests or missions in the game. Each has a good amount of dialog with the NPCs (non-player characters) before you can accept a quest. I’ve been looking for ways to make reading fun for Hannah, to make it seem like less of an assignment and get her to learn to enjoy reading for the sake of reading.  As a bit of supplement towards our normal reading assignments and story books from the library, I’m encouraging her to read the quest dialog before accepting quests.

So far this is working out nicely. I know I no longer read quests before accepting them, in my jaded gamer’s need to reach max level and experience the end game content such as dungeons and raiding.  After encouraging her to read the quests, I’m starting to make an effort of my own to avoid just clicking through the dialog and actually paying attention to the quests and story lines again, even though I might have experienced them before oh so many years ago.

We’re both having a blast and she’s getting some great reading practice at the same time. She’s also taken to crafting in the game, which is introducing her to recipes and organizational skills as well.  I will continue to look for ways to link what we learn in class to things she enjoys, whether it’s EQ2, Minecraft, or whatever else comes along. I can’t wait until we start with perimeter and area in math! Minecraft will be perfect for that, and she’s already worked with both when following building tutorials (making a 9×13 block building for example), even though she’s not aware of it.

minecraft

Hannah’s Minecraft Character

I can’t wait to see how I can further enhance her education just by including her in some of my geeky hobbies. I’m sure it will be a great adventure for the both of us!

Author: Kazia

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3 Comments

  1. Just found your blog and I’m super excited to dig into it! Husband and I are gamers, he would be especially interested in reading this. 🙂 I want to follow, but I couldn’t find the button!
    -sells_kate from secular homeschool.com

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  2. Thank you for your comment, Kate.

    I don’t have a follow button currently due to this being a self-hosted blog instead of something like WordPress.com. You can however choose to “subscribe” or be notified of new posts via email. This is done either when commenting or via the subscribe widget in the sidebar to the right.

    Glad to hear from fellow gamers!

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  3. We are a gamer family as well. We just started homeschooling our boys in February and I would LOVE to be able to figure out how to incorporate what their major interests are (Team Fortress 2 is a big one as is MineCraft) into the curriculum some how. As it currently stands, the gaming aspect is being used as a carrot for them to get their work done so they can go and do something they “really” want to do!

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