Games of the Year: What Are Your Top 10?
12.29.09 | This the season for Top 10 end-of-the-year lists. Writing in The Guardian, Jack Arnott argues that video games deserve just as much respect as the year’s best films, music and other media.
Reflecting on Arnott’s piece, UK digital media and learning expert Ewan McIntosh adds:
The same snootiness is still visible in education despite the work of dedicated, tax-payer funded units like the Consolarium and legions of empassioned expert teachers like Mark Wagner. Video games are on a joint-pegging with the television and the internet in children’s media habits, yet tend to feature only on the last day of term for most youngsters. The potential to learn in the game, as well as learn from their production, is lost to all but the most culturally open and connected of educators who want to expand their students’ understanding of gaming beyond simply picking up another coin.
Some mainstream media lists of the top 10 video games of 2009 can be found at the L.A. Times, TIME magazine and USA Today, which also looks at game usage in a separate story. The San Francisco Chronicle reviews the best games of the decade. For a more in-depth discussion, visit Slate—the online magazine’s gaming club hosts a 12-part critical discussion of the year in games.
Photo by ashka.
Turning our attention to new educational game releases in 2010, Nathalie Caron of Game Forward looks at games that promote STEM (science, technology engineering and math) education. Virtual Heroes, for example, is scheduled to release “MoonBase Alpha” on Jan. 18. The game will be a free downloadable prototype of “Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond,” a multiplayer online game designed with NASA that is scheduled for release later in 2010.
“Students can pick a role like a roboticist, science officer, commander, or space engineer and work as a team on missions to perform experiments, solve space problems, and save the colonies from a myriad of potentially catastrophic situations,” said Jerry Heneghan, founder and CEO of Virtual Heroes.
According to “Kids and Gaming 2009,” a report from the market research company The NPD Group, among all kids in the United States ages 2-17, 82 percent, or 55.7 million, are gamers. Of these, 12.4 million are ages 9-11 and represent the largest segment. Gamers ages 12-14 spend the most time playing video games at 10.6 hours per week.
Have a favorite game you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments.
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