Gaming That Improves Your Writing?
Computer games are lampooned by many for being violent, risqué, mind-numbing, and addictive. A lot of the time, those criticisms are true. But fans are quick to point out that games are not all bad. They can inspire creativity, after all. Case in point: Elegy for a Dead World.
“Gaming’s Not SO Bad!”
You don’t have to dig deep on the internet to find articles that boast of all the good gaming can do:
- Practise problem-solving skills
- Hone hand-eye coordination
- Develop planning and forward-thinking abilities
- Foster creative thinking and “mental flexibility”
- Train spatial skills
- Develop social prowess and even leadership
- Improve typing and basic computer literacy
A Game to Improve Creative Writing?
It’s hard to believe, but game developers Dejobaan have come up with a poetry-based (!), fiction-writing computer game. This is gaming that improves your writing. It’s called Elegy for a Dead World. Here’s how it works:
An Alluring Invitation to Romanticism
The game’s three worlds are based on the Romantic poems of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, all designed to inspire creativity. With no winners or losers, it’s a quiet, cerebral adventure. Blogger Derrick Sanskrit says, “If this sounds a bit shallow as a play experience, that’s because it is. There really isn’t a lot to do in these expired cities except reflect and imagine.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds fun to me.
Creative stimuli come from the gorgeous, futuristic visuals and minimal stem-sentence prompts. The game includes 27 writing challenges, including a lament in rhyming couplets, an archeologist’s report of the world’s final days, and song about sifting through rubble for valuables. At the end, users can collate their story, share it with others, or print it out for a keepsake.
Dejobaan, who is renowned for creating high-action, arcade-style games, added Elegy to its stable in late 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Unlike their other products (some of which seem to include mature content and themes), this one has scope for use in the classroom. The makers claim 100 academic institutions around the globe have signed up to take the game for a whirl with students.
Educators can find out more here.
How Does It Rate?
Commonsense Media have rated Elegy for a Dead World suitable for ages 9 and above and gave it 4 stars for educational value, noting that it fosters communication, creativity, and self-direction. Read the full review here.
Elegy made PC Gamer‘s list of the Best Games of 2014.