17 commercial computer games for use in education

Next term I am looking to introduce a number of computer games into the curriculum. I think that computer games have a significant role to play in learning but for me the key is to identify where games can genuinely add value. Of course, as with all technology, there is the concern that using games just for the sake of it could give a negative perspective on the potential of games based learning.

I decided to see if I could draw up a list of commercial computer games which have been tested in a learning environment.  I have come up with 14 as a starter, but am keen to add to the list throughout 2010.

Feel free to contribute any additional titles. The criteria is simple: these are commercial games which have not been designed as educational resources, and ideally there should be a link to an example of how each game has been used in the classroom.

BLOG UPDATE - 6th Feb 2010, 3 games added:
Wii Sports Tennis, Wii Sports Baseball, Sea Monsters

BLOG UPDATE - 12th June 2010, 1 example added:
Mario Kart Wii for teaching statsistics

Wii Sports Tennis (Information Systems / Numeracy / Literacy / PE)

Platform: Wii
Age: 12 – 16
Example: Mark Cunningham

Wii Sports Baseball (Numeracy / Statistics / Information Handling)

Platform: Wii
Age: 10 – 16
Example: Robert Drummond

Sea Monsters (Literacy / Art and Design / Geography / Dinosaurs)

Platform: Wii / DS / PS2
Age: 8 – 16
Example: Bill Lord

Guitar Hero (Music / Literacy / Art)

Platform: Wii / Xbox / DS / PS3
Age: 8 – 16
Example: East Lothian Council

Myst (Literacy)

Platform: Windows / Mac
Age: 8+
Example: Tim Rylands

Mario Kart Wii
(Numeracy / Literacy / Design)

Platform: Wii / DS
Age: 7 – 14
Example: Mark Cunningham
Example: Primary Pete
Example: Stephanie Disbury

Never Winter Nights 2 plus Adventure Author (Creative Writing / Game Design)

Platform: PC / Mac
Age: 10 – 16
Example: Adventure Author

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
(Numeracy / Statistics / Information Handling)

Platform: Wii / DS
Age: 8 – 14
Example: Redbridge Games Network

Samorost (Literacy)

Platform: PC / Mac
Age: 10+
Example: Bill Boyd


Platform: PC / Mac
Age: 10+
Example: Bill Boyd

Wii Sports Bowling
(Numeracy – percentages)

Platform: Wii
Age: 8 – 12
Example: Chris Leach

Wii Sports Golf

Platform: Wii
Age: 7 – 10
Example: Tom Barrett

Another Code:r (Literacy)

Platform: Wii
Age: 8 – 14
Example: From Dawn till Dusk

Sim City 4 (Economics)

Platform: PC
Age: 12+
Example: EdTechBytes

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Literacy / Numeracy / Problem Solving)

Platform: DS
Age: 8 – 14
Example: LTS Consolarium

Endless Ocean (Environmental Studies)

Platform: Wii
Age: 8 – 14
Example: Tom Barrett

Wii Fit (PE / Fitness / Numeracy)

Platform: Wii
Age: 5+

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6 Responses to “17 commercial computer games for use in education”

  1. Well video games are helpful for developing various skills in them and also they can learn from the video games.Great post for parents so that they could manage their kids to play video games.I will keep looking around for more reviews.

  2. Well, i believe computer games are a great source of entertainment as well as brain developing because while playing a game a player goes through a lot of different situations which develops his/her thinking power.

  3. [...] which games to use to inspire your curriculum then check out Mark Cunningham’s blog entry at http://www.cunniman.net/?p=250.  It covers fourteen commercial games and suggests where they might fit into the curriculum.  As [...]

  4. Great post and site. This is a subject near and dear to me and I have written about it myself.

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Chris,

    More to come on this subject throughout the year hopefully…

  6. allisyn says:

    Hey Mark, Great resources! Thanks. I wanted to make sure you were aware of GameUp – a collection of free, top-quality games that tie right into curriculum and are aligned to academic standards (state & Common Core). No login required!


    Feedback is welcome! Enjoy.

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