I also find their games quite addictive and that's I quality I always look for when trying to find stimulating materials for students, so I've been looking at how these games could used for language development.
The two games I've chosen for this posting are Samorost 1 and Samorost 2
Samorost 1 is based on the scenario of an asteroid heading towards a planet. The player has to click various elements of the screen and find out how to help Samorost change the direction of the asteroid and save his planet.
In Samorost 2, Somorost's dog is stolen by aliens and the player has to help Samorost rescue the dog.
So why use these games with EFL ESL students
- These games are fascinating and very engaging.
- They are quite mentally challenging and help students to develop analytical and critical thinking skills.
- They are beautifully designed and should stimulate your students imagination
- They are based around strong narratives
- They really are a lot of fun to play and discover
- Online games are a significant part of our younger students' culture
Here are a few suggestions to get your students developing their speaking, reading and writing skills.
- Tell the story - Split your class into A and B students. Get all the As to play one game and all the Bs to play another. as they work through the games they should keep notes of what happens and what they try to do to find their way through the game. Once they have finished the game pair one A student up with one B student and ask them to retell the story as if they were Samorost. Once the students have told their stories they can change over games and see if they can work their way through the game by remembering the narrative that their partner told them.
- Write the instructions - Split your students in to As and Bs as above and get your student to work their way through the games and write instructions for how to complete each level. They should then give their instructions to their partner and see if their partner can use the instructions to find their way through the game.
- Write a review of the game - You could ask your students to write a review of one of the games. You could collect these together with reviews of other games and publish them as a small booklet.
- Following instructions - As a reading exercise you could print up the 'walk through' instructions on how to complete the games and see if students can read them and work through all the levels.
- You can find a walkthrough for Samorost 1 here
- You can find a walkthrough for Samorost 2 here
You could use the walkthrough instructions from the first game as a model and get the students to write a walkthrough for the second game.
You can find lots more links to games and their walkthrough instructions here at Games Online
- Write the story - You could get your students to play one of the games and then write the story. They could write it as a news report and even use a video camera or web cam to create a news broadcast.
What I'm not so sure about
- Students can get a bit excited and carried away and then they forget to use English
- The games are actually quite challenging and students may well get stuck and frustrated. If this happens you can either let them stop and get them to end the story at that place in the game, or you can give them the walkthrough sheets to help.
- Exploiting two computer-based RPGs
- Games With a Purpose and a Social Network
- 3B Village 3D browser
- Create your own game
- Looking at There.com