Monday, November 11, 2013

Using Games For Plant Studies

The Missouri Botanical Garden has received a $450 grand grant to study and produce a video game to help transcribe thousands of documents into a digital format...and they hope it'll help bring in a few more kids and people into the field of botany by looking at obscure plant taxonomy. Loads of fun for the whole family! The idea is to help bring life into the project with a new perspective. The issue began with cataloging plants hundreds of years ago. People were using acronyms and short-hand for words that no longer exist, and trying to find information in a database is cumbersome. The hope with the game is that it will help re-organize the existing catalog and help properly categorize new plants in the future. And again, try to get a few kids interested in the field. Oh, and they reference Angry Birds a whole lot for really no reason other then to look cool.

I'm all for education games, but there comes a point where people are reaching. I get that part of the reason behind the games is to create interest in unseen subjects, but we should be realistic about expectations. And quit comparing everything to Angry Birds. What makes that game enjoyable is it's simplicity and ease; it's not a game to teach to children about ethology.

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