Home Online Learning Who Said Computer Games Weren’t Educational?

Who Said Computer Games Weren’t Educational?


Games in the past were created as a distraction from doing work or studying. Some people like to keep that distinction in order to keep their schedules well balanced. But the fine line between entertainment and educational can be crossed if you find the right combination.

Some schools are using Sim City for engineering competitions. Others are using 3-D simulator games for anatomy lessons in the classroom. So what’s out there for online students? Being that it’s Monday I thought I would include a list of fun, yet educational games for those looking for a break from whatever they’re studying. Keep in mind, you don’t need to veer completely off course to take a mental break from what you’re working on.

For students studying medicine…Try visiting the “Educational Games” area of the Nobelprize.org site. Some of the interesting and innovative games they offer are:

  • Immune System Defender: In the game you act out as a trainee soldier looking to defend a human against bacterial infection. So basically you work with the white blood cells and macrophages in controlling the invasion of bacteria. In short, if you’re working in Biology for an online course this may be a nice nerdy escape for you.
  • The Split Brain Experiments: For those stuyding how the brain works, taking anatomy, or possibly classes in psychology, this might be an interesting departure from your studies online. In the game you test a patients reactions between actions performed to the right and left hemispheres of their brain. Give it a spin!
  • Blood Typing: It may sound like a morbid exercise, but you learn more about hematology in this game. You need to know the different blood groups and RH factor in order to give your patient a blood transfusion, and as you guessed it, if you give them the wrong blood they won’t live.
  • Pavlov’s Dog: Most of us will know this experiment. The object of the game is to see if you can train a dog to drool on command. It’s an exercise in stimuli, and conditioned reflexes.

For the history students, and history lovers here is a small but great list of games to chronicle your love for past events:

  • Revolution: A multi-player American Revolution-themed role-playing game. The game itself is based off of historical events in the town of colonial Williamsburg. To play you need to download it onto your computer. Created from researcers at MIT as part of their Education Arcade.
  • Making History: This game of strategy takes players/students through the turbulent years before and during WWII. Players are responsible for creating alliances, building weapons, commanding troops, and managing international policies. The game can be modified to cover Ancient Rome or the Cold War.

Miscellaneous mind games to jump start creativity, or to just wake up your brain:

  • Free Rice: Multiple choice game that puts your vocabulary skills to the test. The game will assess your vocabulary level from a randomly chosen word test, then tailors the game to match your skills. Another interesting incentive is they will donate 10 grains of rice for each answer you get right.
  • The Grammar Game: A mind game where you have to make a statement grammatically correct by merely adding punctuation.
  • The Pattern Game: This game is like a sodoku with letters. Try to find the next order in the pattern by looking at the letters.

It doesn’t need to be overly complicated in order to educate or stimulate your mind. If you have a set of fun “educational” games you’d like to share, send them our way!

– By J. Mason