Common criticisms of using games in math classroom sound like, “I want my child to learn academics,” “If I wanted them to play games, I would keep them at home,” “I am not paying tax dollars (or tuition) to have my child play games all day,” and the ever popular, “I learned math just fine without all this stuff, there is nothing wrong with old fashioned drill, drill drill.” The reality is you will end up with more drill time when playing a game, all accomplished in a positive success driven atmosphere that will keep the students engaged and work on integrating skills with higher level thinking skills.Simple drill works well for memorizing facts for many students. For some their learning styles are such that drill alone is not enough. With time and enough drill, practice and exposure these fact are learned. Any good math teacher will use a variety of strategies to help with memorizing facts. Manipulating blocks, writing facts down, singing facts to music are alternative ways to use. Playing games in the math classroom is an amazing way to get multiple repetitions of facts; a child will happily read the same fact ten times when playing a game, yet groan when a flash drill card appears even a second time.Basic drills do not teach application of math facts. There is a good chance those same people who learned facts perfectly fine the old fashioned way, also despised the dreaded “story problems.” Fortunately today most math programs integrate the “story problem” immediately into the fact drills taking the words story problem out of the picture. Games are a perfect way to provide even more practice applying the basic skills in real life situations. A board game might include a space to land on where an additional math question needs solved; a card game could be designed around gathering enough data to solve a particular problem.Math is such an important life skill, it is important not to make that class a dreaded, stressful, or boring experience. Games in the math classroom designed to reinforce skills and drill in a challenging yet interesting and fun environment will help keep the student engaged in a positive way and motivated to keep on learning. Printable math games designed for one or two people can help build self motivation and even be sent home to download and play in a fun atmosphere while reinforcing crucial skills.Incorporating games into a rich overall healthy integrated curriculum is a valid way to provide educational benefit to all students and is only a waste of time when the skills are not relevant, the game is silly, or if over done. With technology available today, teachers are building a library of digital, downloadable activities that make providing challenging but fun math games for the math classroom easier to do. Everyone, the student, the teacher and the parent will experience the educational benefit of having a variety of fun math games.
When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.