12:15 AM, May 24, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:07 AM, May 24, 2013

Learning thru' games

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Shahnoor Rabbani

Learning thru' gamesGames and challenges which incorporate learning into them so that children could gain knowledge or develop a skill while look at the whole process as entertainment have been there since the invention of toys where you put the correct shape into the right slots.
The best thing about these games is that they work. Keeping a child engrossed in the challenges and rewards while he is dong maths for fun can be challenging, and Bangladesh cannot boast of many achievements on that front.
Here's where Champs21.com comes into the picture. The first online learning portal from Bangladesh has quite a number of online games which seems to have the potential to live up to what these games are meant to do.
Champs21.com by now has somewhat of a collection of games designed to teach little kids math. With games encompassing setting from regular arcade types to the military environment, there are games which would be appeal to a wide range of interests.

Time Braker
There is something about racing and speed which appeals to kids. A generation which grew up fixated on Nfs 2 or Roadrash would know this. What this game does is incorporate that bike racing theme into a game where the route needs to be chosen based on answers to math questions. At times reminding of the old Sega games, this could actually be very engrossing for little kids who are just learning the basics of math.

Battle Order
Probably designed with kids aged a little more in mind, this game is set around a military camp where the player has to follow orders and use math skills to achieve them. The game can be a little hard to figure out at first, but the simplistic animation and setting of war would appeal to kids.

The Adventure of Little Tonmoy
The best thing about this game is how it blends local settings with traditional arcade games. Again, based on math questions, Tonmoy, the protagonist needs to move along the levels, while being chased by pirates. The integration of elements such as adventure is a good point of this game as it brings into simplistic graphics the aspects of exploring and fantastic journeys.
Dexter's Laboratory was a brilliant cartoon; it managed to make science cool. Stories involving mad scientists and the supremacy of science when it comes to hi-tech gadgets have always been used in cartoons.  So it makes sense to take a mad scientist with a laboratory and whose experiments are outcomes of your answers to his math questions and turn it into a game. This game has good visual elements and the view manages to appeal to the hi-fi science image of what most kids find cool about labs.
Given that, these are the first attempt by Bangladesh to make games with virtual learning, something is left desired. The stories could be more progressive. Every game, while different in the plot outline, seems to be focussing on pretty similar areas and level of math. Of course, over time, one would expect them to get better, maybe with different games focusing on specific topics. The sounds and animations of the games make these engaging, and that serves the main purpose of these games. Maybe soon we could hope for games involving more subjects like English or Science. Till then, here's to a generation of brilliant mathematicians in the making.

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