I’m always on the hunt for worthwhile ways to sneak in some fun and learning into my kids’ days.
And though I’m super careful about screen time, I’m rather impressed with a game that I’ve recently been introduced to: Quandary.
Not surprisingly, my little game-testers were eager to try this digital game that is structured to develop ethical thinking skills.
It’s interesting. It’s different.
And it really gets kids thinking.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Quandary–Video Game for Improving Decision-Making Skills:
I, too, was a little skeptical when it came to looking at this game.
I wondered, how on earth could a video game really deal with decision-making and critical thinking and ethical issues?
But this one really, truly does.
- Quandary is a game that provides learning experiences that let kids practice distinguishing the difference between facts and opinions.
- It is a game that allows kids to explore decision-making.
- It’s a game that gives kids a chance to learn about a problem, hear situations from various community members’ perspective, reflect on those opinions, and then decide on the best possible solution.
- It’s a game that aims to support not learning of new content but learning of new skills.
- And it’s a game that provides a ton of discussion between adults and kids.
Designed for players ages 8 and older, there is a lot of reading with Quandary, truth be told.
Players read the scenario first to understand the problem. The layout is similar to a comic book or graphic novel, and many kids today are quite comfortable with this genre.
The cool thing, from a Reading Specialist’s perspective, is that when players click the text, the text is read aloud. The combination of visual and audio reading is a huge support–even for older readers.
Owen, my forever gamer, was big into trying this game, so one evening he, Cora, and I sat down together to look at it.
It was a lot for Cora, who is 7 years old. It was a lot for Owen, at 9 years old, but he was in the mood for a challenge and was really willing to read through each scenario and description and make the right decision.
The first time he played, we worked together to figure out the steps and try to earn points for organizing statements of fact, opinion, and solution. We talked about the best ways to organize characters into groups of people who would agree with our decision and those who would disagree.
My friends, Quandary is not a game to start at 8:30 pm on a school night. It’s a game to play when your brain is sharp and your kids are in the mood for a little brain challenge.
Overall, Owen liked that:
- the levels were fun;
- there were different episodes to choose from;
- the game helped him with problem-solving skills.
Owen wishes that:
- there were more episodes (currently there are 3);
- that it might be a little easier–it could be hard for younger kids.
I liked that:
- the game is free (yay! free is good!);
- the game is totally different–a new and unique concept for kids;
- the game is created to be used alongside kids–super starting point for discussion;
- the game moved areas in the brain that are often dormant for kids.
The website covers a ton of FAQs for parents, and a very comprehensive FAQ section which I definitely had before exploring the platform. It’s also got a boatload of resources for teachers that would be super helpful for getting this game into the classroom. The possibilities are there, and I’d love to see this kind of discussion-based game be used more in that way.
Totally worth checking out. I’d love to hear what you think.
Think you’ll check it out? Let me know!
Have questions? Ask away! Or chat with the Quandary folks at @quandarygame on Twitter and or Quandary Facebook page.
fyi: This post reflects a collaboration with the Women Online and Quandary. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator and by my three gamers.
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