Part of Emerging Instructional Technologies was to look at gaming as a learning activity. I played a game called Flood Sim. Flood Sim is a free online game that forces you to make decisions about flood policies and spending in the UK for 3 years. You are either the hero or villan or both.
I played Flood Sim for a couple of rounds. I enjoyed the game, and while I did not start out very well, I improved the more times I played. For some reason the game reminded me of an old IntelIivision game I played years ago called Utopia. This was a game to develop a small island by supporting a population and making money. While this game was different it still brought back memories of the hours spent playing the game.
The game was filled with choices and you learned through failure. Feedback was given after each year, but you only got three years. (Maybe that is considering the length of a government before election in Britain.) This game could be played in several classes to teach a variety of concepts. Government and Environmental Science are two classes that I can see potential. I can see students working together to make decisions to try to prevent flood losses.
While I enjoyed the game, I could see some drawbacks that kept me from getting engrossed in the game. I had to remind myself that it was FREE. First sometime was spent trying to get it to load, and some verbal elements worked and some did not. The instructions were vague, but I learned through playing a couple of times. Finally, I did not like that the game had only three rounds.
All in all, I believe this game is worth using as part of a curriculum.