Video games do not have to be mindless entertainment. It's now possible to play video games for learning on your TV or on your PC or laptop with the kids. Below are some of the truly cool educational video games on the market today:
1. Tropical Fish Shop – This game lets players be the owner of a tropical aquarium shop. You're tasked with rescuing fish from polluted waters and providing them a good home until someone comes along to adopt them. This game teaches children some of the responsibilities of pet ownership as well as a little bit about taking care of the environment and even some financial sense with the business game aspect.
2. Roads of Rome 3 – This is a real time strategy type game that plays a lot like the Civilization series of games which puts you in the role of a Roman emperor trying to defend your culture from being invaded. Even though it's not historically accurate in all details, this game gives kids insights into how cities used to be constructed and defended and, sometimes, even destroyed.
3. The Three Musketeers – This is a fun game which gets kids into the world of classical literature. This game is packed with fun, combining sword fighting, puzzles, card games, exploration and mystery gaming elements into one expansive package that has you racing up and down the countryside to complete your quest.
4. Secrets of the Vatican – While firmly rooted in the same sort of fantasy as The Da Vinci Code, Secrets of the Vatican also plays off the same actual historical facts as that book and movie, sending players all over the world to pick up pieces of the Holy Lance. You'll be going all over the world to pick up clues and pieces of what's called the Holy Lance and teachers players about geography, world history and actually about the arts as well. Definitely a fun way to kick-start a child's interest in fine culture.
5. Macabre Mysteries- Although it may seem like this game is mere shallow entertainment, it actually pushes those playing to use some critical thinking skills. By challenging you to solve a series of murder mysteries, this game pushes you into a corner that you can only get out of by using your brain. While not educational in the traditional sense of teaching kids facts you will want them to know like other video games for learning, Macabre Mysteries teachers vital learning habits that will come in handy later in life.
These educational video games should serve as evidence enough that video games can be challenging to the brain as well as to the thumbs and the reflexes. This is actually gaming at its best providing real mental challenges as well as being educational on many levels.