When did “educational” mean you had to be boring? I think a lot of games have this reputation and vice versa. Educators are so reluctant to use games because that term is not always taken seriously. I believe there needs to be a balance. It’s called mixing sizzle with substance.
Take the game below for example. Here we have a potentially exciting narrative. You’re stuck on the moon and need to figure out what three items are essential for survival. The game lacks any excitement though. If I’m wrong, nothing happens. The game hints at what you should have chosen but doesn’t really discuss the consequences of your actions. Even when you win, you don’t feel like you won. There isn’t a lot of substance here.
I would like to see some sort of example. Perhaps a video of what happens if you forget your oxygen tank. One of my favorite educational programs is from the Intrepid Museum’s Digital Resources. They created a series of educational videos and demonstrations that help students understand aeronautical terms. In one video, an educator demonstrates what the vacuum of space is with a balloon. I don’t even care about space, but it was convincing enough to watch the video.
This game should provide some sort of demonstration on what happens if you don’t bring the correct essential items. Maybe not a video, but an addition to the story. The way the game is now, the students have no reason to remember any of the little information that is provided. Simply put, the game is boring.