Sim City… the beginnings…

Well, we are two weeks in to our Sim City serious games project. After a few teething problems we have settled in to a good routine. We have 27 copies of the game and have loaded it on to all of the laptops in the 5/6 area. We are then able to pool the laptops and have a 1:1 program running. All of the grade 5/6 classes have embraced the game. Our first session was somewhat experimental, we allowed students to choose if they wanted to work with a partner or not and then gave them free range on the game. In the first session we allowed students to go “crazy” with the game, getting all the UFO invasions, fires, volcanoes and general total world de-nomination out of their systems. We explained that the first session was just a trial run and we wouldn’t be saving their attempt. I was so impressed with the way the students embraced the challenge; without a lot of intro they took to the game like ducks to water. I let them know that I didn’t have all the answers about how to play the game and we would need to help each other, problem solve and READ the manual!! It was lovely to see the collaboration that took place and to see the children so engaged in the game. I think that the game has a good level of challenge – it is accessible but also quite challenging! Session two began with the hope it would be the real thing! This game would work and they would also be on their way to creating a successful city! Unfortunately most children did go bankrupt but this has been a good talking point! We will be working through these issues in our next session. We have been compiling a list of “class tips” and will spend a bit more time reading through certain sections of the manual. Looking forward to many more sessions on Sim City.

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