Come Back, Carmen Sandiego

Come Back, Carmen Sandiego

Perhaps the answer to bridging the education/entertainment divide is to stop acting as if there is one. Or maybe it's just more Carmen Sandiego.

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I played Where In Time to death as a child. And I still have my copy of The New American Desk Encyclopedia with me.

Phsst. Where in the World was best.

I played all of the Carmen Sandiego games and watched the TV show regularly. The games taught me where Reykjavik was!

Where in Time was amazing until you couldn't find the encyclopedia to insert the right bit of unlock info. I think the CS games had some of the few non-text adventure game feelies out there. Also, that coffee machine? Priceless adventure humor.

You want to know how much of a criminal genius Carmen Sandiego was? She almost never did anything herself and hardly had any concrete or provable connection to the crimes. She's a ghost. A phantom waiting for her fall guy to get nabbed so she can make off with the loot. On the off chance she did get caught? Probably didn't spend more than a day in prison.

I've recently heard she's turned to software piracy and drug dealing.

I don't remember ever needing an encyclopedia for WiTiCSD....am I a super genius?

Man, I couldn't agree more. I actually did read the encyclopedia for fun as a kid, but it was way more interesting if I was working toward something. I think, all too often, people associate learning with work. But I think that has more to do with the teacher than the lesson.

Kross:
The games taught me where Reykjavik was!

Ah, that was the Young Ones for me.

Vyvian:
Reykjavik comma Iceland fullstop

I played Carmen Sandiago as an adult teaching kids and I had a blast. But the dumbing down of kids TV is disheartening to watch.

Show the kids of today Bagpuss and they're still enthralled. Even when they know that Chocolate Biscuits aren't made out of butterbeans and breadcrumbs.

They're already starting to forget Cow and Chicken, Clarissa Explains It All and Rugrats.

But you'll find it hard to find an adult who can't sing the Pinball song from Sesame Street, whistle like the Clangers or snicker like Muttley.

CoD 4 teaches you how insanely much military equipment costs I guess, perhaps with a critical sentiment but still you learn something.

I for one would apreciate a group based Carmen Sandiego on XBLA, whoever solves the crime fastest gets a point, as long as there are tons of diffirent crimes to solve and 4-5 diffirent difficulty ratings it would be awesome.

The_root_of_all_evil:
[quote=Kross post=6.72445.760910]

But you'll find it hard to find an adult who can't sing the Pinball song from Sesame Street, whistle like the Clangers or snicker like Muttley.

One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twe-el-eeelve!

Don't forget Mr. Wizard, Beakman's World, and Bill Nye.

Susan Arendt:

The_root_of_all_evil:
[quote=Kross post=6.72445.760910]

But you'll find it hard to find an adult who can't sing the Pinball song from Sesame Street, whistle like the Clangers or snicker like Muttley.

One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twe-el-eeelve!

Don't forget Mr. Wizard, Beakman's World, and Bill Nye.

American shows, so I didn't watch those. Sesame Street made the voyage.
But I can still tsssschhhtokoopf like Ivor the Engine and Mr. Benn lives at 52 Festive Road.

B-b-bill Nye the Sci~ence guy!

I agree completely about there being no gap between entertainment and education:

Okami - Awesome game, and I dare you to not learn *something* about Japanese mythology from that (granted you didn't know everything before)

Total War - Like most Civilization-esque games, it's full of constant history lessons, but the added ability to recreate historical battles makes it even more learner friendly.

Hell, I even learned about the REAL Genome project after playing FFIX and getting curious.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Susan Arendt:

The_root_of_all_evil:
[quote=Kross post=6.72445.760910]

But you'll find it hard to find an adult who can't sing the Pinball song from Sesame Street, whistle like the Clangers or snicker like Muttley.

One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twe-el-eeelve!

Don't forget Mr. Wizard, Beakman's World, and Bill Nye.

American shows, so I didn't watch those. Sesame Street made the voyage.
But I can still tsssschhhtokoopf like Ivor the Engine and Mr. Benn lives at 52 Festive Road.

nill nye the science guy was kick ass lo!!

I totally used to play Carmen Sandiego; now I want to play it again!

Actually, playing Call of Duty got me interested in World War II and the major battles there.

Call of Duty, Carmen Sandiego - what's the difference?

The TV show is nothing, though. Just saying.

I loved Where in time is Carmnen SanDiego. This game taught me heaps. The first game to teach me alot, however, was the campaign from Age Of Empires 2: Age of Kings & Age of Conquers which gave you history as objectives said dramatically and summarised simply followed by nice little pictures.

World of Warcraft teaches you economy, math, teamwork, leadership, social dynamics and working hard to achieve a goal.

Susan Arendt:

The_root_of_all_evil:
[quote=Kross post=6.72445.760910]

But you'll find it hard to find an adult who can't sing the Pinball song from Sesame Street, whistle like the Clangers or snicker like Muttley.

One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twe-el-eeelve!

Don't forget Mr. Wizard, Beakman's World, and Bill Nye.

Holy crap, Mr. Wizard!!! I loved the episode where they made kid stand on his head and eat food while everyone just stared at him. Even when I was five I remember thinking that this was somehow crossing a line.

Honestly, I think more games just have text parser interfaces. I learned to spell, read, and write playing Sierra adventure games and I know it lead to me reading more complex books.

Great article, I couldn't agree more. Why, I'm all tingly with nostalgia for Carmen Sandiego now... anyone see where did I put my copy of Where in Space?

This pretty closely echoes a piece by Daniel Floyd on video games and learning.

Bill Nye wasn't even for kids originally. He did a segment on Almost Live. It was a local late night sketch comedy show on KING 5 in Seattle. Tangential learning is great for adults too.

He was also pretty funny as "SpeedWalker"

shMerker:
This pretty closely echoes a piece by Daniel Floyd on video games and learning.

Whoa, there is quite a bit of overlap there. Thank you very much for sharing that...I was completely unaware of it, and damn, if that wasn't entertaining. :)

In addition to reminding me of my days bombing around the farm, I've learned quite a bit about the physics of big, old American automobiles while driving off-road in Flatout.

Dead on on the article. Games first, education second. (Wait, does that sound right?)
I loved the ridiculous TV shows based on the games. They were fantastic. It was like Double Dare for the smart kids.

My Fondest video game experience was Civ II.
Incidentally this game was almost my entire history curriculum in elementary school.
The reason being that I was home schooled, not that my parents did not attempt to teach me, or where in anyways lack in their duties as teachers.
I believe what really happened was I started playing the game and sitting down the a real encyclopedia so I could read about each race, and so I could figure out about things like "the seven wonders of the world" at the point that most of my grade school equivalent students where learning what? I was reading entire treatises on the ancient world. I guess my parents just felt that was good enough...self assigned homework

Ok now. This may seem kind of lame to everyone here. I am on the younger end most likely of the general population of this forum and thats cool by me. The only thing I think I have that tops all your geekyness is that I know the entire acapella theme song to the show which was done live by Rockapella before every episode. Other than that I have the board game but, I kind of cheated my way to it. There was a garage sale involved, its not one of those childhood keep sake board game. And I did watch the show as a younger kid. Back in the 90s. Back when the music was good and not all about bitches, hoes, and "dalla dalla bills yall" as they say.

RRoethel:
The only thing I think I have that tops all your geekyness is that I know the entire acapella theme song to the show which was done live by Rockapella before every episode.

http://www.actionext.com/names_r/rockapella_lyrics/where_in_the_world_is_carmen_san_diego.html

Well, I don't quite know all of it, but I can recite a good chunk of it. :)

Even if a game isn't aiming for education, it can still do that. Zoozilla's pursuit of knowledge pertaining to WW2 because of COD would be an example, and me becoming interested in WW2, and later, modern history in its entirity, would be because of Brothers in Arms.

Though, I have to agree with the article. The best way is to make someone learn is to get them to enjoy themselves while teaching.

stompy:
Even if a game isn't aiming for education, it can still do that. Zoozilla's pursuit of knowledge pertaining to WW2 because of COD would be an example, and me becoming interested in WW2, and later, modern history in its entirity, would be because of Brothers in Arms.

Which is why you have to be a little careful with your fictive elements; unless they're labelled fictious people might start to believe in them.

I did like the cigarettes in Deus Ex which gave you a very short boost but cost you permanent health.

As far as games featuring educational value are concerned, I commend to you the Europa Universalis series, especially EU2. That game has hardwired historical events for every major country and tasks the player with responding to actual history.

Hearts of Iron 2 plays in the same vein and actually reading the event scripts is an overview lesson in World War 2 (and, in the Doomsday and Armageddon expansions, the early parts of the Cold War as well.)

Ah, I remember Mario's Time Machine. That game taught me about history, and I didn't even realise it. I'd never have known that Ben Franklin invented bifocals, or that the Gobi Desert was actually a very cold place, if it weren't for that game. I also watched Carmen Sandiego as a kid, and loved every moment of it.

Also, Fallout taught me that having 10,000 rems of radiation in your body is unhealthy (exaggeration).

 

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