Sunday, July 20, 2014

Viking Quest

I read the James Paul Gee piece for class and found a new appreciation for video games and their teaching capabilities, even games that do not really stress factual information. After reading that I went to the BBC interactive game website and searched for a game to play while thinking about how it could help someone learn. I decided on Viking Quest. The premise of this game is to go on a journey to a monastery which you then raid for your chief in an effort to obtain a prize from him. It sounds simple, but there are many different choices that you have to make along the way.

First you have to decide if you want to take a loan to build your ship. Here  the gamer is being taught about monetary actions, something useful for nearly everyone in the world. There is also an aspect of geography in the game as you have to decide where to settle along with which sea route to take to the monastery. The game also shows how Vikings built ships and the possible crew members that would go on the journey with you. And before you leave on your journey you pray to the Viking gods so the gamer also learns a little about the Viking religion.  

Its fun because the game allows you to have the power to make most of the decisions for your journey. What is even better for learning though is that the game holds you accountable for your decisions too. For example, I actually lost the game because my raiding haul was too small and I burned down the monastery before I left. The chief sent me off to go work on a cod fishing boat as punishment too. I could have done much better in the game and next time I play I will have a better idea about how to go about a successful journey. 

In the end this game is very informational. It shows you historical and cultural aspects of the Vikings and it has you make life decisions such as how to use money. Probably not all games are as informational as Viking Quest because it is put together by the BBC, but after playing this game I can see more how video games can be a helpful learning tool for people.


  1. Carl! Thanks for the interesting post! It sounds like you had a good time on your viking quest! I like how you took the time to point out certain aspects of the game that relate to decision making and strategy. My one question is, how would you integrate games such as this in the classroom? I understand that games such as these can have educational value, but would this game be an activity for in class or outside of class?

    Clothespins and Carnations,


  2. In response to Elliot, maybe it could be used in class if you have the technology. You could play for a while then have a discussion about the decisions the students and Vikings had to make. Alternatively, probably a more realistic approach would be to assign it outside of class, maybe as extra credit. Then a student could write a report on what strategies they used or a more in-depth report on Viking life.

  3. Carl,

    I appreciate your post about having a positive experience with the video game experience. The majority of posts that I have seen (including my own) focused on the negatives of implementing technology in the classroom in order to reform school systems to follow the increase of technology in society. I especially appreciated your comment on how the game was informational and provided historical and cultural knowledge. Although the majority of us didn't really enjoy our gaming experience, I myself have played and learned educational games as a child in order to learn how to type and learn critical thinking skills. To this day, I remember playing these games in elementary school--these games introduced me to challenging material and allowed me to explore my discipline in an interactive and engaging way. Thanks for providing a different perspective!