Using games to learn about the world

I have to write a paper on a famous historical person.


Son comes home with this announcement and he is looking forward to it. We know by now how much stress such a piece of work causes everyone here in the house, but we go along with his enthusiasm.

He wants to write about Madame Curie. Mainly because he himself is quite fascinated by nuclear power plants and radioactivity. My husband is happy that he chose a topic so quickly. And I am proud that he is going for a female scientist.

And we can get him started a lot right away.

In fact, we have three games at our fingertips that feature Madame Curie.

Leer legendarische uitvinders kennen

Dry information made accessible

Madame Curie appears several times in these games and you also get additional information about her. That information is not only useful, but you also need it to play the game properly. So you do make sure you remember that information! A great way to learn more about the world, a great method for world orientation.

Often the background information in a game is short and sweet with symbols, making it very accessible. It invites you to read and because there is a lot of repetition in a game, you also repeat this information. A perfect way to store it in your long-term memory.

Now, of course, Madame Curie is a very famous person. And rightly so, because she is the only person ever to win 2 Nobel prizes for two different sciences. No wonder you’re in all the history books then!

But games go beyond that. You also learn about people in history who may be underexposed in books, but who were certainly important too. If you play a game, those names come along naturally. World orientation at its best, it seems to me.

But not only famous people appear in games, how about historical events,
cities around the world, knowledge of organisms and nature.

Of course, you can also offer everything in a book, but games make world orientation fun and tangible. Games can make you almost experience / smell / see / feel it yourself. A game plays on all emotions and the more those emotions ‘turn on’, the easier and better you learn. In the interview with Koen Henskens, enior history teacher, he says that this is one of the motivations for him to use games in his lessons: through games, you experience history.

Games are ahead of history books

Moreover, games are often ahead of books, despite the fact that a game takes a while to develop. Still, a game on a current topic is in shops faster than it is incorporated into a textbook. Or a game gets an expansion, like this recent expansion female painters to the game Old Masters from 2019.

So knowledge of the world doesn’t have to be dry stuff. With a game, you make it fun, accessible and almost tangible. Click on the puzzle pieces to view one of the games in more detail.

Legendary Inventors is unfortunately sold out at the moment.

The game Who’s She is a huge hit worldwide. You can order it from the Polish designer’s website.

* In this blog, you will find affiliate links to games. If you buy a game through one of the links, Pen & Pion gets a percentage of it.

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