I’ve always been one of those people who likes to learn on his own. Buy even if you’re like me and choose an unconventional way of learning, you still need teaching aids, resources and tools and that’s when video games come in. Although it may sound silly to a lot of people, games can really help when it comes to learning, so I decided to compile a list of games that are great teaching aids. Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when we think about video games teaching us skills is probably edutainment games, but I decided to avoid the obvious path and instead, I made a list of games that actually teach you important skills that are useful in real life. While I was doing research for this article, I read about people learning other languages, random historical facts and even maths using video games, so if you’ve learned something through video games and it isn’t part of this list, please write it in the comments.
5. GameMaker: Studio
Teaches you how to make games.
Using a drag and drop language, GameMaker: Studio is a game creation system that can be used to create either simple or complex games. The idea behind this piece of software is to allow people without programming knowledge to design video games. Gone are the days when you had to learn C++ or Java to make the game of your dreams. Now the only thing you need is a copy of GameMaker and some free time.
4. NBA Baller Beats
Teaches you rhythm and coordination. Also, this game can help tremendously when it comes to improving your basketball dribbling skills.
99% of rhythm games revolve around dancing and playing instruments, but that’s not the case with NBA Baller Beats, a game that has player dribbling a basketball to the rhythm of popular music. So you follow the instructions that appear onscreen which usually involves dribbling the ball from one hand to the other, dribbling between legs or faking a pass. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the soundtrack (which includes songs from artists such as Gorillaz, Skrillex, Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot and Run DMC,) but if you want to learn how to dribble the basketball using the Kinect, it doesn’t get better than this.
3. Typing of the Dead
Teaches you how to type fast on a traditional keyboard.
There was a time when typing fast was a skill that was necessary for most jobs. Although typing isn’t something that you include in your résumé anymore, this is still an important skill that we take for granted. Over the years, there have been dozens of games and pieces of software that tried to teach people how to type fast, but Typing of the Dead is probably the best of that kind. Like the House of the Dead, Typing of the Dead involves killing zombies but instead of shooting, you type the words that appear on the screen as fast as you can.
2. Rock Band
Teaches you how to play the drums.
If there’s a particular Rock Band instrument that translates particularly way to real life, that’s playing the drums. Of course, that doesn’t mean that by playing Weezer’s Say It So in the easy difficulty, you’ll immediately know how to do it in real life, but by the time you know how to play songs on the hardest difficulty setting flawlessly, transitioning to an actual set of drums will be significantly easier.
1. Rocksmith 2014
Teaches you how to play the guitar or bass guitar.
Rocksmith 2014 is a video game that actually teaches you how to play guitar. The game allows players to connect almost any guitar or bass to their PC/console and immediately start practicing songs. Please take into account that the game requires a special cable (a USB cable that connects to the standard output jack of most guitars and basses.) The game features a wide array of modes, including jam sessions, master mode, Guitarcademinigames, traditional lessons and more. On top of that, the soundtracks is absolutely terrific and you can also import all the songs from the original Rocksmith by paying an additional fee.
Honorable Mentions: RPG Maker, BuzzQuiz, Dance Dance Revolution and Dance Central.