That is a good question but nevertheless it’s possible. All games in Mingoville Virtual World are educational and developed to teach kids English. That goes for the Boat Races as well. Prior to this blog post, I described the learning possibilities in the social MMO games; Quiz Talk and SuperStar which are based on interaction and content produced by the students themselves in the form of songs or recorded words from the interactive dictionary.
The Boat Races are competition games. The students race against one another on time.
There are three types of Boat Races; 1-player, 2-player and 4-player races.
All Boat Races are built upon speed and English word recognition. The boat is controlled using the arrows on the keyboard. The students’ ability to recognize the words have been build up in the theme based missions, where the students spell, read, listen and practice the pronunciation and meaning of the word in different contexts. In the Boat Race, the students have to quickly recognize the words, collect the right items and still maintain speed around the corners of the racing track, which will strengthen their coordination and multitasking skills as well as the ability to recognize the words they learned in the missions.
The Game Racing on time, the student needs to collect the right items. He or she receives points based on the numbers of “collected” items as well as time spent in total. In all games, the points are converted to coins that the student can spend in Mingoville drinking coffee or renting a fishing rod.
After the games, the score list will appear and the student can check his or her position on different parameters, e.g. Today among all the users of Mingoville, or this Week among the kids of his or her own country, or perhaps All Time for the whole world.
The Boat Races are popular games because it’s always fun to compete against your friends. Besides, the games are based on basic English words which make them ideal games for the beginners. In some of the other games, the student is required to have some understanding of English in order to play or at least to win the games.
A way of using the Boat Races actively in the classroom or at home is to challenge the students for a race against their teacher or parent. I have to give you a warning. If you are not a regular gamer, it’s not easy to navigate the boat – I’m not a hardcore gamer and I have a hard time controlling the direction of the boat. I get beaten by youngster all the time. I really have to practice my navigation skills to keep up with the kids. However, it’s fun and it boosts the kids’ self confidence when they beat you. In the name of fun and positive learning, we dare you to challenge your students or your child.
We’d love to hear the results. As always you are welcome to comment and make suggestion to new features.