The school year is in full swing! Parents are rejoicing because their shitty kids are back in school, and teachers are complaining about having to deal with another batch of shitty kids. And of course, those shitty kids are upset they will have to deal with shitty teachers. It’s really a lose-lose situation for everyone but parents. So, as you all are buying new books, preparing your red pens, and crying first thing in the morning, I’ve gathered a few games I think everyone could enjoy during the school year!
Whether you’re a student or teacher, you’re probably stressed out. Gardening is one of the best ways to relax; in fact, gardening can scientifically make you happier. But why deal with real plants that will die (because let’s face it you don’t even have time to tend to a garden when there’s homework to do, or homework to grade) when you can grow virtual plants! Viridi is a great game for those who want to join the YouTube planting community but don’t have the money or time to actually garden. Rather than scream at a student, maybe scream right at your screen. Your digital plants won’t care.
2. Art Sqool
This one’s for the students out there who need to get some energy out. Even if you aren’t an art major, Art Sqool is a great way to doodle, scribble, and fiddle around without disrupting class. And teachers, don’t worry, because there’s an AI that will grade your students on their work. If they fail a drawing in Art Sqool, they fail an assignment in real life. It’s only fair.
3. Reader Rabbit Kindergarten
I don’t care what grade you’re in, how far you are in your teaching career, you should probably learn how to read. And Reader Rabbit Kindergarten slaps. There’s a game about pie, and using a grid, and telling a beaver how many steps to take before getting to her boat. I don’t know if there’s actually anything about reading in this game, but I do know I played this game even when I was in middle school because it was FUN. And when the school year sucks, sometimes you just have to go back to wearing Velcro shoes and play a game meant for babies.
4. Mario is Missing
Mario is Missing is a great educational game about different parts of the world. If you’re a world history teacher, this game is an absolute must-add to your curriculum. Follow Luigi and he travels all around the world through a futuristic pipe system to find out where Bowser is hiding. Assign this game as homework! If students can’t find Mario then they fail the class. Easy!
Now, for those of you who have played this game, I’m sure you already see where I’m going here. A game about students trapped in a school that is being monitored by an evil teddy bear that is forcing them to either kill each other or stay trapped in school forever? What could students learn from this? Easy…debate! This game is GREAT at teaching students the power of rhetorical analysis! By the end of the semester, students will be able to cut through the words of their peers, and loudly shout that everyone is wrong. This is the equivalent of buying a Playboy magazine and only reading the articles.
Now, I cannot condone using this game in the curriculum because of its graphic nature of the game, so maybe use it as extra credit for those who are willing to play it. You know what, maybe this is a bad idea, maybe play—
Actual 5. Ace Attorney
—instead. It’s much lighter in tone despite also being a murder mystery game. And students will come out screaming “Objection!” making them perfectly ready to become a lawyer almost immediately.
Now you’re all set up to take the school year by storm! Play all 5 of these games and you’ll probably 1.) fail your class because you didn’t do any of your homework or 2.) get fired because you didn’t teach all year. You’re welcome!