Video Game Review

Extra-Credit History-based Video Game Review

Valiant Hearts, Mission-US, Call of Duty, Civilization, Age of Empires, Medal of Honor, Soldiers: Heroes of WWII, Axis and Allies, and The Calm and The Storm: these games have sold millions of copies, yet most History teachers have never played even one of them. Are video games a waste of time and energy? Can video games teach us History? Niall Ferguson, a prominent historian thinks so, read his argument, however, please understand that other researchers urge caution about the appropriateness of video games for certain ages and purposes.

Next, identify the state standard involved in the game you have selected. Then review a history-based video game in at least 500 words. Argue that the experience has taught you something meaningful about history. Your review should describe the story at the heart of the game, link the historical content in the game to your textbook, and describe how it confirms or contradicts what we have studied in class.

family-playing-video-game-console

Other ideas to put in your review

  1. Comment on the historical accuracy, or inaccuracies in the game as well as the level of difficulty in playing it.
  2. How many hours did you spend playing it? How many hours will it take to become a good player?
  3. Who would benefit from playing this game? Age? Demographics?
  4. How could the author target that audience?
  5. Report on who published the game. What other games have they made? How many copies have been sold?
  6. How much does the game retail for?  Where can you get the best deal on it?

Make sure this review follows the traditional essay format. Your teacher will submit the best reviews for publication in the school newspaper.

Outline of traditional essay format to use in your review

  1. Catchy title
    1. Grabber
    2. Background
    3. Definition of key terms
    4. Grand Thesis & roadmap
  2. Mini-thesis #1 (The best part about this game is…)
    1. evidence
    2. argument – explain
    3. link back to thesis
  3. Mini-thesis #2 (The worst part about this game is…)
    1. evidence
    2. argument – explain
    3. link back to thesis
  4. Mini-thesis # 3
    1. evidence
    2. argument – explain
    3. link back to thesis
  5. Conclusion
    1. Restate main idea
    2. Summarize key points.

You have between April 8 – May 1, 2015 to submit your review to http://www.PaperRater.com and you can improve it as many times as you want.

I will review your final draft along with the PaperRater report. You may submit them electronically to scottmpetri@gmail.com or print them out and hand them in during class.

One thought on “Video Game Review”

  1. Lists of Great Games for Learning
    A new posting from Anuar Lequerica (Games and Learning Consultant, Independent)
    Many serious games databases are just list of games but there’s not a sense of which ones are good. After years of reviewing and searching, I can recommend these lists/databases:

    -First Place
    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/ExtraCreditsEDU#curation
    (the ExtraCredits team is composed of gamers that analyse and reflect on games very intelligently).

    http://docubase.mit.edu/playlist/documentary-games/
    (a terrific list from the MIT Game Lab).

    -Second Place
    https://www.graphite.org/top-picks#/top-picks
    (Graphite/Common Sense Media have a huge games-for-learning database but most of their reviewers seem to not be gamers, so I get the sense that they don’t review the games very deeply).

    http://www.totemlearning.com/totemspoll/top-ten-serious-games-in-politics
    (Good list , although I don’t recognize some of the games.)

    http://gamesandimpact.org/games/
    (Another good database, with guides on how to increase learning for each game.)

    Like

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