Games you accidentally learned from

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I used to be a really big fan of two old city building games called Caesar and Pharaoh. Without really realizing it as a kid they both ended up teaching me a lot about history in a way that helped me out with school down the road. I didn't play them to learn, but I kind of ended up doing it accidentally and I thought it was great.

I was wondering if any of you guys had games that you felt did the same thing for you? Doesn't necessarily have to be about history either. How about a game where you learned some math? Science? English? Maybe even another language? But you didn't buy the game specifically with that goal in mind.

Does anyone have any good examples?

The only thing i can think of recently was being able to recall the names of the ww11 weapons in a museum from memory alone. Thankyou medal of honour/ Call of duty :D

I know so much about World War 2 because of the war games. The Africa campaign, Operation Overlord, the Battle of Iwo Jima, available technology and vehicles, Stalingrad, all that junk.

I give high props to Rollercoaster Tycoon, teaching me all about supply and demand, management, loans, spending available money, etc.

You'd be surprised how much you can learn about economics just from playing trading sims. The downside was when I found that most stores will not buy goods that you purchased for 80% of their price a few blocks over.

On an unrelated note, I have a few crates of still fresh Sony Walkmen if anybody wants them.

Civilization learned me good! Albeit somewhat rough truthful knowledge but it does a fine job of teaching economics, politics and history. I also learned how to control immense rage through countless hours of frustrating platformers on the NES. :D

I know the names of several more Japanese warlords than I would otherwise because of Shogun 2: Total War, and I know quite a few folk tales and legendary beasts from Japanese mythology due to Okami and Touhou. Including times when knowing one complemented the other: Okami's more traditional outlook on the crow tengu showed me why Aya has a fan, for instance.

I learned to read old english by playing final fantasy ( mainly FF1 and FF4). Actually now that i think about it , final fantasy taught me to read periode. I was about 3 when the game came out . And i saw my dad playing it . Naturally i wanted to play . My dad had no objection , but he refused to read the entire game for me . He said if i wanted to play it i had to learn to read for myself , he would only help me with difficult words . I must have been the child with the most motivation to learn to read at that point . And learn to read i did.

Age of Empires definitely taught me more about history than any class ever has, and more importantly made it interesting enough that I wanted to read about it on my own as well.

History, culture, language, geography from the Total War games
Facts about buildings in Rome, Istanbul and Constantinople, historic figures and history from Assassins Creed
So many different things from Civilisation. Those famous quotes. I know em all.

The Trail Blazer minigame in Saints Row 2 taught me that when you light a tiny ATV on fire it gains the ability to magically make anything it touches explode. Can't wait to try that out.

Assassin's Creed games.

Believe it or not, it's like playing a history lesson where you can kill people in a variety of interesting ways. I really think Assassin's Creed is one of the most educational games I've played - and that's saying something.

because of Castlevania SotN and Soul Reaver, i had to hit a dictionary to find out the meanings of a few words

TephlonPrice:
Assassin's Creed games.

Believe it or not, it's like playing a history lesson where you can kill people in a variety of interesting ways. I really think Assassin's Creed is one of the most educational games I've played - and that's saying something.

No kidding, especially the second one. I spent a lot of time reading every piece of info on every single person I ran into and every building I climbed. I know a couple times I went and looked up a few people and places just out of curiosity.

Persona 4 actually taught me a great deal.

I had no idea what a "senpai" was until that. I also learned that you're supposed to drink 2 liters of water a day. I also found out that takoyaki are basically batter-fried octopus.

I could go on, but you get the general idea.

Kitsuna10060:
because of Castlevania SotN and Soul Reaver, i had to hit a dictionary to find out the meanings of a few words

I learned English by playing the Legacy of Kain series and learned that you dont need super ultra graphics to appreciate the story, you just need to work into the body language of the characters to make them FEEL alive (Unlike the Starcraft portraits and Black & White creatures that constantly look their face expressions) I liked the voice acting so munch that when i heard it in my language i said: "FUCK IT, back to listening the Shakespearean actors"
Diablo 2 in multiplayer helped a bit but that its more like the Michael Bay school of Butchered English for 7 years old.

Games based in the middle ages, I learned of a lot of old english.

Not that it is practical or anything
just kinda cool.

Leemaster777:
Persona 4 actually taught me a great deal.
I had no idea what a "senpai" was until that. I also learned that you're supposed to drink 2 liters of water a day. I also found out that takoyaki are basically batter-fried octopus.

Oddly enough, Persona 4 has a great amount of learning potential, even if some of the questions that you learn inside and out of school are outright stupid. (See question: "What is tallest mountain in the solar system". Answer = Mt. Olympus on Mars. My ass.)

I also learned a lot about Japanese culture and mythology from constant google searches on the various Personas and their names. Even when you leave Inaba to visit Gekkoukan, it gives you the origin story of Izanagi and Izanami and their terrible relationship. That origin story is what lead to the revolving conflict between the Main character (Who holds Izanagi within his soul) and Izanami throughout the entire game.

It's fucking brilliant.

OT: Wind Waker taught me how to read when I was a kid. That's about it, though.

Ironically, call of duty 2 made me pass a history test.

I think Gears of war actually saved me at one point, a large amount of shit on a shelf at a local store was collapsing and with instinct I hid behind a concrete pillar that was next to me. When I looked around, I saw that there were 200 lbs boxes where I had been standing before hand and around me.

I learned to read from Pokemon :/

I used to play pokemon blue a lot.... even though I couldn't read... It was hard....

...My world history teacher way back in high school once asked the teacher what bronze was made of.

...Because of Runescape, I correctly pipped in with copper and tin.

That's about it for me, because modern games don't have shit to do with the real world.

Angry Juju:
I learned to read from Pokemon :/

I used to play pokemon blue a lot.... even though I couldn't read... It was hard....

Same here. I just went through knowing tackle ment win and growl ment make funny noises at the thing. It was fun.

daveman247:
ww11 weapons

The eleventh world war was by far the most tragic.

I learned how to read from NES/SNES games. At least better than the way my school taught us. I mean school taught me how, but video games actually had me reading at a much higher level than the "See spot run" books that we had in 1st grade. I actually had read The Hobbit in 2nd grade.

I third (?) the Assassin's Creed games. After I played I was looking to read more about the events in the games, like The Crusades and many of the events in Ezio's time. I actually took in quite a bit considering how many creative liberties were taken. But whatever.

EDIT: OH OH, Sonic helped me learn my dental machines (if that counts). There are ultrasonic and sonic scalers, but one uses water and the other uses air. What you need to remember is that Sonic hates water :3

Ryan Savage:
I used to be a really big fan of two old city building games called Caesar and Pharaoh. Without really realizing it as a kid they both ended up teaching me a lot about history in a way that helped me out with school down the road. I didn't play them to learn, but I kind of ended up doing it accidentally and I thought it was great.

I was wondering if any of you guys had games that you felt did the same thing for you? Doesn't necessarily have to be about history either. How about a game where you learned some math? Science? English? Maybe even another language? But you didn't buy the game specifically with that goal in mind.

Does anyone have any good examples?

This is me. I learned a lot of history from Pharaoh, but I did almost go insane when it said Mark Antony and Cleopatra won at The Battle of Actium, yet all my history books said Octavian had won... FGHHHHNNN!

Kvaedi:
Age of Empires definitely taught me more about history than any class ever has, and more importantly made it interesting enough that I wanted to read about it on my own as well.

Same here. The second one was full of good historical tidbits.

neonsword13-ops:

Leemaster777:
Persona 4 actually taught me a great deal.
I had no idea what a "senpai" was until that. I also learned that you're supposed to drink 2 liters of water a day. I also found out that takoyaki are basically batter-fried octopus.

Oddly enough, Persona 4 has a great amount of learning potential, even if some of the questions that you learn inside and out of school are outright stupid. (See question: "What is tallest mountain in the solar system". Answer = Mt. Olympus on Mars. My ass.)

There are actually two mountains named Olympus in our solar system: the one in Greece we all know and love and where Zeus and his buddies and siblings hang out, and the one on Mars that your supposed to refer to as "Olympus Mons", and is the tallest in our solar system. The fact that Persona 4 refered to Olympus Mons as Mt. Olympus ( translating Mons for no apparent reason) did make me cringe, too, though.

Terminate421:
Ironically, call of duty 2 made me pass a history test.

I think Gears of war actually saved me at one point, a large amount of shit on a shelf at a local store was collapsing and with instinct I hid behind a concrete pillar that was next to me. When I looked around, I saw that there were 200 lbs boxes where I had been standing before hand and around me.

The older, WWII CoDs were excellent on historical accuracy and all the events. And now I also know that Gears has saved a life. I salute you, cover based shooting!

revenge6000:

daveman247:
ww11 weapons

The eleventh world war was by far the most tragic.

Well played, sir/madam

OT: I have learnt quite a bit about various histories and cultures from various games such as Assassin's Creed and Civilization etc. Also I am quite good now at recognising guns mainly due to shooters. There are probably plenty of other things as well that don't spring to mind immediately.

As I was playing a lot of text heavy RPGs/text adventure games as a kid, my vocabulary increased quite a bit.
That's really the only thing. I would've learned a lot of random history facts from Assassin's Creed had I played it a few years earlier, but I knew a lot of that crap already so it doesn't really count.

I learned three things.

First was sheer planning ability. Due to alot of RTS games in my early gaming years.

Second was channeling rage into my ability to play. This also is responsible for my high attunement with the metagame in fighters.

Third was the ability to cope with photosensitive headaches. I think thats the one im really proud of.

Age of Empires 2 for me as well. Small history facts just a part of what it is I guess. Age of Mythology too I suppose. Taught me the raw basics of all the old deities (I think I spelt that wrong..)

Other than that I am drawing a bit of a blank though I am certain there are more examples to be found.

On a side note; Is anyone else eagerly awaiting some avid FPS player who believes he is now a weapons expert of some sort?

Ryan Savage:
I used to be a really big fan of two old city building games called Caesar and Pharaoh.

god i remember theses games, my mom still plays them too she keeps a old win 98 laptop around for this purpose.

OT: I would have to say Eco-quest (a point and click adventure game for kids by Serra) looking back it is a bit preachy in the environmental message but it impacted me strongly as a child, it taught me conservation and impacted my view of the environment and how the things we throw away affect it.

the second is the Assassins creed series, especially the 2nd game, i read ever scrap of data and info the game presented because the world it built felt alive and i wanted to learn all about it, and i aced my test on Renaissance Italy largely because of it.

Video games are the reason I took an interest in history. That and History Television, back when they showed old war documentaries and such others. Not to much these days. Not that I don't like IRT or Ice Pilots.

I love history.

My opinion of both cartoons and games for years has been that you can learn a lot if you pay attention to the right things. Sure some of the things you might learn might not be relevant in most cases, but you can still learn some fairly interesting things.

I learned to count from watching my mom play tomb raider on the sega saturn. I would try and count how many shells and medipacks she would have.

I learnt basic battlefield planning from games, and have used that quick planning skill in exercises in my job.

I also am damn good at map reading skills from all the varying degrees of maps found in games! Especially games like GTA and the Getaway with the hard-copy maps that you can use while playing! Now maps are second nature to me, even home made hand drawn and confusing ones!

Finally I learnt aircraft recognition from the Act Combat games, along with some of the basic characteristics! Like the SU-32, and the fact it has a kitchen and tiolet on board, even though it looks like a fast jet, and you enter it through a ladder behind the front wheel!

Well i usally learn a bit about from any game i play. If i haven't learned somthing from the game that stays with me past turning the game off then it proabley wasn't that good of a game to begin with.

Games like Call of duty World at War and Assasins creed spring to mind instantly. I mean your playing through a historical setting. even if the characters are fictional, the world around them is based off of actual history.

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