Part 3: Analyzing Video Games

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Activity 3A.2: Looking at Entertainment- and Issue-Based Video Games
Entertainment-Based Video Games
Gamespot (Web site about gaming; includes many reviews of the latest video games)
Madden NFL
Passage by Jason Rohrer
PlayFirst (includes games that can be played for free online with free registration)
Popcap (includes games that can be played for free online)
The Legend of Zelda series
The Sims
World of Warcraft
Issue-Based Video Games
Ayiti: The Cost of Life
In this game about poverty in Haiti, players help a family make decisions about work, education, community building, personal purchases, and health care in order to make ends meet and improve the family’s future.
Budget Hero, American Public Media, Marketplace (a game about the U.S. government’s budget)
Darfur Is Dying
In this game, player take on the role of refugees in Darfur and face a number of challenges, such as getting water without being discovered by the janjaweed militia.
Enercities (a game about urban development and energy management)
Go Goat Go
This game teaches young children about the importance of goats to the livelihood of a poor village.
Our Courts (a game about constitutional rights)
The Redistricting Game
In this game, players learn about the challenges of redistricting and its potential for abuse and manipulation. Players undertake a series of missions in which they attempt to redistrict an area, with specific goals (such as gerrymandering or ensuring minority representation) in mind.
UN Food Force
Players take on missions to distribute food in a famine-affected country and to help it recover and become self-sufficient again. (This game requires downloading a very large zip file in order to play it.)