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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

EcoKids' Yard Sale: Serious Game on Recycling and Negotiating

I came across this interesting "serious game," aimed at younger kids, called Yard Sale on Canada's eco-awareness site EcoKids.

The gameplay is straightforward (and with as many nods to capitalism and self-interest as environmentalism, for both sides of the aisle). The player is putting on a garage sale. After some exposition, the player first sets the prices, and then plays through a well done, fast market engagement activity to see if they can get that price.

What is so impressive about the game is that it is very easy to play, highlights a real process that kids can follow, and then allows participants to engage in some basic practicing of real skills that they will need. It is not an addicting game, but it, even better, transitions seamlessly to the real world. It looks straightforward and easy to design such content, but it represents a lot of sophisticated thinking.

Like it or not, media is the key to education that scales. This is a great role model of a necessary evolutionary path.

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