Category Archives: Reading/Writing Games

Simulating Utopia: Critical Simulation and the Teaching of Utopia

Simulating Utopia: Critical Simulation and the Teaching of Utopia, a new article by CUNY Games Network co-founder Francesco Crocco, was just released in the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, an open-source, online journal. The article theorizes a new approach to simulation-based pedagogies that emphasizes critical thinking and interactive design. It models this approach for teaching a utopian literature course. Please read and share!

Kinect Math and English Games

These Kinect video games were submitted by David Renton of Reid Kerr College in the UK. Games are available at

Subject Area and Learning Outcomes
Math and English. Games use multi-sensory active methodology to consolidate learning in the areas of Math and English.

Kinect Games include 4 separate games, all are one or two player. They make use of the Kinect sensor to capture motion from the players. Kinect Angles reviews Angles, Compass Bearings, Percentages and fractions by measuring the angle between the players elbow and wrist and drawing this on the screen. The game will prompt them for a certain angle or fraction and the closer they get to it the more points they get. Kinect Time is the same principal for telling time. Math Mage and Word Mage use fruit ninja style gameplay with the players waving their arms to cut through the correct answers. Math Mage reviews numbers such as odd, even, prime and multiples of 3 to 12. Word Mage reviews Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs and Adjectives.

Full installer can be found on Games run on Windows 7/8 PC connected to a Kinect for Windows or XBOX360 Kinect device.

Pre-game it would be good to go over the learning objectives that will be consolidated through the gameplay.

Rules of Play
Player with highest score wins. Games have a time limit. Players achieve points for getting closest to the answer or by swiping through the most correct answers.

Sample Turn
Kinect Angles: Game will for example display 85 degrees on the screen. Both players move their arms and they see themselves on the screen drawing an angle. Once they think they have it correct they hold up their other arm. The game shows them how close they came and assigns points based on performance.

How this game works in class
The games can be played in pairs, while the class watches. Usually the whole class becomes involved and they encourage the players.

Post-Game Discussion/Assessment
Discussion afterwards of performance and the areas students struggled with.