18 March 2002

computers were only just coming into schools when i was a child and we had bbc model bs and commodore 64s all over the shop. these were made more accessible (to those who weren’t busy mastering (for small values of “master”) their first programming language) in a way that preserved their educational qualities by giving us lots of educational games and we used to spend computer lessons doing things like routing ambulances to the right place and landing planes on the runway in the right order. i don’t know much about what computers in schools have done between then and now but it shouldn’t really come as any surprise that

a uk study concluded that simulation and adventure games - such as sim city and rollercoaster tycoon, where players create societies or build theme parks, developed children’s strategic thinking and planning skills. since they’ve just mentioned two of my favourite games i’m obviously going to be biased but i think that they’re thinking along the right lines. as much as it seems that some educators would like it there’s no reason why things that are fun can’t be educational too.