Contradiction

This is another in the Detective game genre. You are a Police Inspector named Fredrick Jenks (incidentally the name is similar to the Inspector Jenks in the Enid Blyton Five Find Outers childrens adventure book series). You have to find out the real cause of death of a doctorate student in the village, that is shown as a suicide. Your only leads are a handful of clues and some interviews with locals, who are surly and non co-operative in general. The skill lies again in organizing the statements of the locals and listing them in a way that brings out conflicts in different statements and in the body of every statement itself. This is in fact how real detectives work.

If you catch a lie, then you get more information. This allows you to ask more questions and get more answers, all of which may not be truthful. You again try to trap the contradictions and nail the lies, to get at the truth. One advantage of the learning aspects of this game is that it is a ”thinkers game” and not based on some split second pushing of buttons. There is no time pressure at all, allowing you plenty of breathing time to review information, make hunches and proceed.

Contradiction-1

Contradiction has been filmed in a remote village in Cheshire County in England . When you walk the streets at evening or nighttime, it does give an eerie and scary feel to the game. The music is haunting by Tim Follin.

The only disadvantage of the game is the lack of a good system for keeping track of testimonies of people, by which you can easily spot contradictions. But then I suppose, this will really sharpen your memory and the learning quality of the game is enhanced because of it.

Volume

Another game that is excellent and is also new, is Volume, designed by Mike Bithell. The game relies heavily on “pattern recognition” to score points. Now this skill is very useful, in a lot of fields, right from forensics of cyber security to stock market trading (e.g. technical chart analysis, which IMHO is nothing but recognizing different patterns and acting on them to predict market movements). Most people make good use of their pattern recognition skills to make a ton of money or a rewarding career. Volume requires this kind of skill as well as a sense of geography, to win.

The game itself is set in England several decades ago. One Guy Gisborne has managed to corrupt the country’s political systems to create a rapacious and malevolent corporatocracy. Robert Locksley is a hacker and activist who breaks into the simulated nerve-centers of Gisborne’s power apparatus to steal incriminating data, which is then shared with the downtrodden people. The whole exercise is transmitted via some futuristic video channel and hence the camera angles and view from top that is shown.

The game itself is a series of about 100 or so Isometric (in laymans language, 3 –D) maps of different places, with the view from an angle at the top, as if you are watching a CCTV camera. The map has a series of obstacles, structures and guards. The hero is actually a thief, who has to dodge the obstacles, guards and booby traps to win the booty. The Hero gets nice gadgets to escape and trap the guards, such as lures, decoys and even an invisibility cloak!

Volume1

Another theme that comes through is a kind of Robin Hood type setting, where he “robs the rich” and “rewards the poor”. In this game the rich are the corporatocracries, who have captured money and power by corrupting the political system.

There are plenty of text notes that help in giving a contextual feel while playing.

Several educational benefits are available. One is the usual skill of collecting information, trying to gauge the adversaries skills and assets, manipulating adversaries to have advantages over them, decision making when confronted and so on. Also it also has a well themed economic lesson that is hard to miss.

All in all, an excellent addition to your PC collection!

Plants versus Zombies

Plants Versus Zombies

PlantsVersusZombies

This game pits plants against zombies (some kind of robot looking creatures) that will invade the players homes and “eat their brains!”. The only defense against this invasion is a set of plants and fungi, that he can place in the area surrounding his home. The area is divided into about 5 or 6 lanes, that the zombies can take and the player has to strategically place plants, that have different properties in various lanes, to prevent the zombies from entering. This kind of game is called a classic tower defence game. The learning possibilities are understanding the concept of “Layers of Protection” widely used in many fields, from Industrial Safety systems to security of critical installations. The concept is that no attacker should be able to penetrate the defense (Tower) with just one breach. Thus if one thinks of a castle, then there are different layers such as a moat, filled with crocodiles and piranha, then a drawbridge, then guards on the watch tower who can shoot arrows, etc. So the attacker cannot enter based on just one victory.

Similarly in this game one can select different types of plants and mushrooms to prevent the attacking zombies. One such example is the Magnet-shroom, which can remove any metallic items from a zombie, such as helmets, ladders, and even pogosticks.

 

Process Safety

Process Safety

This is from Abhisam.

HAZOPGame

You can play this game online or on your PC. This game helps you gauge how well you know process safety concepts, such as HAZOP, LOPA, Risk Assessment and other such topics very easily.

The game is a football (FIFA) based Penalty Shootout game quiz where you are allowed one penalty kick to start with and as you answer questions correctly, you keep on getting goals.All questions are of the multiple choice, single correct answer format.

At the start you have to enter your name and start. The first question appears. If you answer it correctly, then press the Kick button, you land a goal! If your choice is incorrect and you press the Kick button, you miss, then the goalie saves the goal and flings insults at you, like “Do you need glasses?” etc.

The crowd keeps on roaring and cheering in the background, making it a thrilling experience. The sound effects are great. Many learning games of this genre do not have such realistic sound effects or such a good cast of characters such as the goal keeper, who comes off as a conceited and ill mannered character, who plays his role very well.

The game’s creators say it can be adapted to any topic and not just Process Safety. We selected this because it is unlike any of the other standard ones out there and looks very realistic. The learning outcomes are very straightforward. Either you know the exact answer or you do not. If you answer even 5 of the 8 questions correctly you win the Football (World?) Cup!

Will be very interesting for trainers in the Process Industries such as Oil and Gas, Chemical, Power Generation and so on to evaluate concepts amongst the employees (who are supposed to know them thoroughly well anyway).

 

Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds

CriminalMindsGame

As a game player, you will become part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI (no idea if such a unit actually exists in the agency, but for all you know could be). You have been tasked with solving a series of shocking crimes. The entire concept is based on the television series by the same name. You search the crime scene for clues, interview suspects and analyse the evidence to catch the culprits. The scenarios are pretty realistic and there is a lot of learning experience involved. You need to be careful not miss any obvious clues, as well as nonobvious ones.

There are two levels, namely Casual and Expert. The casual mode has sparkles, while the expert mode does not. See an example below.

criminal-minds-game-screenshot

Needless to say, it is more difficult to solve things at the expert level. You will get a chance to interview suspects in planes, in their houses, in your office as well as a realistic looking interrogation room!

From the main menu, you get to choose your character and other settings such as the volume of the sound.

The game has 2 cases, the second one requires you to solve the first one before you can access it. The second one is also more than three times longer than the first one and is more difficult.

If you are a fan of detective novels like those by Agatha Christie, or Sherlock Holmes, then you will enjoy this game.

This game has several learning features

  1. Develop your power of observation. If you use the Expert level (without sparkles) it takes a lot of effort initially to locate the clues
  2. Organize your clues and make sense of them. This develops your data organizational skills
  3. Lateral thinking- you need to piece all the jigsaw pieces (figuratively speaking) together, before you zero in on the criminal. This includes studying the crime scene, interviewing suspects and putting two and two together. Excellent for developing logical thinking

In our opinion and excellent game and even actual law enforcement agencies can use this for their training of new recruits.

PC Games for learning