Whether it’s while lunching with friends, while being pushed in the pram, or even at a park, it’s not uncommon to find children with their faces bathed in the unearthly glow of tablets or phones.
I generally have no problem with kids playing video games, but games like Angry Birds or Minecraft will only benefit kids so much. Although one can argue that Angry Birds is teaching physics (a poor argument at best) and Minecraft is helping with creativity (meh), the games generally require no real thought or skill to play. As a result, kids aren’t gaining any knowledge or skills in playing them.
What is really needed are games that use the same mechanics as these highly addictive games to engage and teach kids while they play. And it seems that this is what the folks at WeWantToKnow AS thought as well when they developed DragonBox Algebra.
DragonBox Algebra is a game that uses a similar goal-oriented mechanic as some of the most addictive mobile games — players try to gain as many stars as they can in any one level, while exploring different worlds. The goal, as well, is simple, players need to isolate the dragonbox in a single side to clear a level. And what kids don’t know it what they are really doing is solving for x.
Check out a quick clip below.
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As you can tell, the game starts out by simply using cartoony characters and images and having kids remove images from the screen by finding their opposite. As kids play, things become more difficult and the pictures are traded in for algebraic symbols. But this doesn’t occur before the player learns basic maths, and is hooked on the premise of playing the game.
The concept is simple, engaging and follows the same mechanics as some of the most popoular mobile games. But instead of just wasting time (and often your wallet with games like Candy Crush), the games are truly teaching kids something.
There are currently two versions of the game, one for 5+ (suggested for 6 year olds) and one for 12+. I haven’t purchased the game yet as my son is just about to turn 6, and I’m not sure he could handle it quite yet, but I’d love to hear from parents that have tried it out. The reviews really are glowing.
As one reviewer states, this is the future of learning, and I really hope this is true as it sounds awesome. You can download the games here for almost every platform.