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#225167 - 06/04/11 03:55 AM Re: Good games to teach scientific method? [Re: dweste]
ratbert42 Offline

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Florida
I'm a fairly big game geek and I can't think of any game involving the scientific method. A few of the games that might come close or would at least be interesting to some people on this thread:

Mindtrap - plays a bit like Trivial Pursuit, but with braintwisters, lateral thinking and logic puzzles on the cards. Things like "how many months have 28 days" (all of them) or "The maker doesn't want it, the buyer doesn't use it, and the user doesn't see it. What is it?" (a coffin).

Clue: The Great Museum Caper - almost completely unrelated to Clue. One player is a thief that moves secretly around the game board and the other players try to catch him. (Unfortunately I see it's out of print and priced sky-high on Amazon.)

Settlers of Catan - several educational positives: probability lessons, trading with other players, more than one way to win.

Outdoor Survival - an old Avalon Hill game. Not that great of a game, but interesting just because of the topic.

Blink / Set - two pattern-matching card games.

#225331 - 06/06/11 03:49 PM Re: Good games to teach scientific method? [Re: dweste]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: dweste
There are probably legitimate reasons to consider a variety of approaches to be scientific methods, given the differences in sciences, but I was thinking primarily of the so-called hard sciences. I belive a fair rendition of the scientific method for hard science would be:

1. Observation / evidence gathering.
2. Creating or chosing plausible hypotheses as to what has been observed and gathered.
3. Designing experiments to support or eliminate hypotheses.
4. Carrying out the experiments.
5. Evaluating the experimental results, including statistical analyses of multiple test runs, to determine which hypotheses the observations and evidence best support.
That would be asking a lot from a game, but surely someone has at least taken a shot at it.

I'm sure it's not exactly what you had in mind, but it occurred to me that many of the more strategy-based games for various popular video game systems implement some to most of these steps. One of my favorites for the playstation 2 is a turn based strategy war game called Dai Senryaku VII Exceed. The observation phase comes when you check out the map and the opposing force(s). You then create a hypothesis on how/what you will do to defeat them. You design your experiment by deciding what units you need on the field to carry out your plan to defeat the enemy(ies). Of course the fun part is carrying out the experiment (you play the game). If you win, your plan was successful. If you lose or just had a difficult time, you can reevaluate, see what went wrong, and change your strategy/units and try again. A few other games fit into this category, such as Final Fantasy VII and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. In these, you have to plan ahead as to what equipment you think you'll need, say to get through a certain area or defeat a certain enemy, then try it out. If it doesn't work, you reevaluate and try it again.
Uh ... does anyone have a match?

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