Category Archives: Science/Health Games

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Encyclopedia of Mechanics

Let me begin by saying thank you to all the presenters, participants, and attendees of the inaugural CUNY Games Festival! We’re pretty darn pleased with how it turned out and hope to see you at the next one.

I received a few questions from educators during the conference about game mechanics–specifically, how to learn more about them. It’s true that having a wide breadth of knowledge about mechanics can only serve to improve your ability to make games, and although it might be best to learn about mechanics by playing more games, I have definitely found Board Game Geek’s Encyclopedia of mechanics to be helpful. And so I share it with you!

http://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamemechanic

Medical Mysteries on the Web

This web-based game from Rice University was submitted by Lynn Lauterbach. The game is available at medmyst.rice.edu.

Subject Area and Learning Outcomes
Life Science Middle Level: Pathogens, Immune System, Disease, Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoan, Zoonotic Diseases, Scientific Method, STEM careers

Summary
(1-2 players) MedMyst Original has five different mission options. It is generally geared for teaching about infectious disease, pathogens, and the immune response. Mission 1 is an orientation or general introduction, Mission 2 is based on a bacterial disease, cholera, Mission 3 is a viral disease in the pox family, Mission 4 is a protozoan disease dealing with malaria. Mission 5 is a combination of things and is built around zoonotic (animal borne) illnesses. MedMyst Reloaded has STEM career connections and scientific method modeling. Games are built in to the program as reinforcement and review of content.

Setup
There are teacher materials, vocabulary, and activites included.

Rules of Play
Self-guided. Winning is not the object as much as completion.

Sample Turn
The student is engaged in the text through a story line that is set in the future. They move through the program solving, learning, and reviewing materials dealing with Life Science concepts.

How this game works in class
I prefer to have students work individually although they can work in pairs. I like to put headphones on the students so the background music and other noises are what they hear. They work through at their own pace. I sometimes have them show accountability with some of the items under the teacher materials pages.

Post-Game Discussion/Assessment
The teacher materials pages have activities and assessments included. The vocabulary pages guide students learning new words and their meanings.