SimCity Societies [Software/Game]

17 04 2008

SimCity SocietiesVarious versions of the SimCity computer ‘game’ series have been used in schools for over a decade.  Game creator Will Wright was schooled in the Montessori tradition, and his fascination with play-mixed-with-education has led to even richer gaming experiences.  Added to the original SimCity concepts of wider urban planning and management of infrastructure, this new incarnation also incorporates societal values: productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge.

The genius of the SimCity games is that they allow players to experiment with a massive number of combinations and permutations of cityscapes, architectural styles, and system choices, and to then witness the evolution of their system.


Lord of the Flies [Novel & Movie]

17 04 2008

Lord of the FliesStranded on an island, a group of schoolboys degenerate into savagery.

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies preceded and informed many of the concepts that we’ve seen in Lost, Cast Away, and even Survivor.  The tale’s exploration of the patterns and phases that a group of previously ‘civilized’ boys go through after being stranded on an island speaks to ancient patterns of tribalism, fear and superstition that are sometimes difficult to explain in the classroom.  On other levels, there’s material to discuss organizational structures, hierarchy, values, and even extremely ‘close to home’ issues such as bullying.