Play these games. Write in the comments section which are your favorite five games. Also, please let Mr. Ferlazzo know if any of them are no longer working.
Castaway is both entertaining and accessible to Early Intermediate English Language Learners. You are stuck on a deserted island and have to get off.
The Caves of Mull was written by an English class in Australia (using a wiki), and is accessible to Intermediate ELL’s. It’s filled with “death, destruction and treasure” (and fun).
In the Frontier Alaska game, you having a very hard time in a dog sled. It’s a “choose your own adventure” activity where you are regularly giving challenging scenarios and then have options on how to proceed.
A Seat At The Table is a “choose your own adventure” game related to hunger issues and is accessible to high Intermediate ELL’s. It’s from Oxfam.
Take A Walk is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game from World Vision. Players assume the role of the head of a Rwandan family, and have to make a variety of survival decisions. It would be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.
“Centre Of The Cell” is a very engaging and accessible interactive simulation about the outbreak of a flu epidemic in London. Users have to make decisions about what actions should be taken to get the outbreak under control. It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game — with potential “deadly” consequences.
Klondike: Rush For Gold is an online game from the Virtual Museum of Canada. It’s in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” genre, and the player puts him/herself in the position of being part of the Gold Rush frantically heading to the Yukon. It’s a nice game, though it’s not animated and has a fair amount of text. However, it should be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.
The Medieval Game of Life is from the Museum of London. The player takes on the role of someone who lived in the Middle Ages and has to make various decisions along the way.
The Sydenham River is a “choose your own adventure” game about early settlers in Canada. You get the play the part of a couple coming from Europe. The language is fairly simple and is accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.
Fairy Tales from Penguin Books (part of its “We Tell Stories” series) seems particularly well-suited to English Language Learners. It’s short, the language is accessible, and the reader actually helps “write” the story.
Niki’s Adventures, I can say with authority, is the only online video game starring a hummingbird. It’s from the Virtual Museum of Canada, and appears to be in the “choose your own adventure” genre. You’re given various options for actions Niki the Hummingbird can take, or responses he (maybe Niki is a she?) can make. It’s a fun language development activity for Early Intermediate English Language Learners.
National Geographic has its well-known Lewis and Clark Adventure, where the reader is a member of the Expedition.
The National Geographic has an equally well-known simulation where you the play the role of an escaped slave on The Underground Railroad.
It’s Your Story is a series of stories designed to teach about the law and abused women.
Against All Odds is an online game created by the United National refugee agency. In it, you play the role of a refugee in various scenarios. It’s probably accessible to high Intermediate English Language Learners.
In The Jamestown Online Adventure, you play the role of an early settler in…Jamestown.
Muck and Brass is a game from the BBC that puts you in the role of a city leader during the Industrial Revolution. You have to make decisions on how to respond to various problems that resulted from industrialization. The English is much more complex, if not arcane, than it has to be, but Intermediate English Language Learners should be able to understand it.
A company called Zap Dramatic creates many excellent “online negotiation games” and “interactive dramas” that use the “choose your own adventure” technique. The games are generally designed to teach negotiation skills. Their games, though, are probably only appropriate for high school students and above. They include:
Gangs, Guns & Knives Awareness has a British bent, and focuses on how young people can stay safe.
Play a “choose your own adventure” game when you pretend to be Thomas Edison. Click on “Inventing”.
Tales Of Twentieth Century London lets the user play the role of a child in….twentieth century London. It’s sort of a “choose your own adventure” interactive, and is quite engaging and well-designed, not to mention accessible to English Language Learners.
Over The Top is an exceptional online game from the Canadian War Museum that puts you in the role of a soldier in the trenches. It’s like a “choose your own adventure” game. It’s particularly accessible to English Language Learners because it provides audio support to the text.
A Dog’s Life is a simple choose your own adventure story from Scholastic. It’s about…a dog.
National Geographic has a simulation you can play called Border Agent Simulation. My initial reaction to the idea was pretty negative, but it appears like they handled it with a fair amount of sensitivity.
Man vs. The Wild is another game from the Discovery Network.
Connect With Haji Kamal is an intriguing game developed for the U.S. Army to help soldiers develop better skills at communicating across cultures.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a dragon, Choice of the Dragon is the game for you. You get to be one — as nice or as mean as you want!
Journey To The End of Coal is a pretty amazing documentary on coal-mining in China that uses a “choose your own adventure” method.
A. Pintura: Art Detective lets you try to identify who was the artist of a painting.
In The Crime Scene Game, players have to solve a crime.
The Lost Lunch Box is sort of a “choose your own adventure” game where players have a variety of choices to make. In the process, players have to answer math, science, and history challenges.
Be a good or bad dragon in Choice of the Dragon.
Mission US is a brand new site that will be providing interactive games to help students learn about United States history. It’s funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment For The Humanities. Right now, it just has a couple of interactives online. It’s main one, For Crown Or Colony, is a very well designed “choose your own adventure” game (you have to register in order to play). The site also has a lot of supporting materials for teachers.
The Curfew Game is from Channel 4 in Great Britain. It’s a “choose your own adventure” game that’s described by its creators as “a large-scale futuristic adventure with a political thriller theme of trust, privacy and liberty.”