It's a bit of a nostalgic day today at Kotaku (or maybe I've just done a poor job of getting out of the historian mindset this weekend), but a post over at Educational Games Research brought back memories of childhood and elementary school — Oregon Trail, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (I vaguely remember a PBS television show that we were required to watch once a week), typing teachers (though we used PAWS in the 3rd grade, not the Mavis Beacon mentioned). Ah, memories:
The Eighties were an exciting time for video games, as graphics and computing power increased to the point where games started to become visually appealing and interactive. Educational games from that decade in particular taught teachers, parents, students, and designers things that are still influencing titles today.
Thanks to the wonders of the web, the original versions of these games are often available online, and there are discs and ports to other platforms floating around as well. Playing the original versions, while nostalgic, also helps remind us what made these games important. Some things they taught us were good (learning can be fun when presented properly). Some things, not so good (skill and drill only gets you so far, even in a game). Read on for a trip down memory lane, a discussion of each game's significance, and some locations to try out versions for free.
Fun trip back if you're of a certain generation. Stuff like Oregon Trail seems to have taken on a life of its own, and plenty of the other games listed had long lives (and perhaps are still kicking via spiritual successors?).
The Top 10 Most Influential Educational Video Games from the 1980s [Educational Games Research via GameSetWatch]