|From building mousetraps to building worlds, games have come a long way.
Perhaps the days of finishing a dinner party with an energetic game of team Pictionary are gone. For children, playing games at home has moved beyond the delightfully ingenious mechanics of board-games like Mousetrap. Now kids play in virtual worlds where they build their own homes, get jobs, drive and house-share with friends well before their teens.
Online learning games
So many board games now can be played online. But purists might be forgiven for missing the feel of carved chess pieces, the messy scribbling on paper, die throwing and boisterous accusations of cheating. Children, however, have taken their own play-dates to an entirely new level and for their generation there’s possibly no going back.
Aside from games of strategy and learning like chess and scrabble, there are so many opportunities to learn and up-skill online.
Schools have set the ground work from Kindergarten, with online homework platforms like Mathletics, Cool Maths Games, Reading Eggs and learning apps like Ululab’s Slice Fractions. Tablets have become standard classroom equipment with kids learning raw coding in primary schools as part of the national curriculum.
Living in virtual reality
The list of game titles across PC and console is endless but Minecraft’s 3D building, exploration crafting, combat and other options have made it the second best selling video game across all platforms. As of February this year Minecraft sits below Tetris and one higher than Wii Sports.
The Sims, life simulation game was developed by game designer Will Wright as a virtual doll house. It’s a game without defined goals, just offering a player-driven simulation of daily activities in the lives of player-created virtual characters.
Roblox hosts website and app based social network virtual world games combining elements of both Minecraft and the Sims. Building and creating has the look and feel of Minecraft, and players navigate virtual worlds, Sims style, but with the option of multiple other online players.
Next level player interaction
This demonstrates how much player interaction has changed since the humble board game.
Enter Roblox’s Bloxburg world and you’ll compete with other players building nicer houses, bigger swimming pools, better careers and ‘more stuff’. However, as in the real world, the bigger the home; the larger household bills are. If the jobs’ not going well, unless you can afford a cash injection (an in-app purchase of Robucks) you may just have to downsize.
As a parent, it can be a little worrying having your child living with the neighbour’s kids in a virtual house-share where they need second jobs to pay the bills. Perhaps there’s a little too much reality leeching into Virtual Reality game playing: it could be time for a nice game of chess.
Are you into playing games online? Check out Optus’ $60 Home Broadband Plan, we’ll get you sorted.
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