Games And Educational Programs


By the End of This Tutorial, You’ll Be Able to:
 Blast spaceships out of the sky
 Play pinball, Tetris, and other arcade games on your computer
 Stick a set of encyclopedias in your CD-ROM drive
 Learn Spanish from your PCTo place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

A computer isn’t all business. Slap a joystick on it, and it’s a two-thousand dollar, 32-bit game system. For another 40 bucks, you have a personal chess master, who will not only play chess with you for 24 hours a day, but can also teach you some tricks and strategies. Slap a CD-ROM encyclopedia disk in the CD drive, and you have complete set off encyclopedias on your desktop, complete with sound, pictures, and video clips. In this tutorial, you’ll learn about some of the fun and educational software that can keep you entertained and intellectually fulfilled.

Having Fun with Computer Games
I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen friends and relatives with good intentions buy computers to “do work at home” and “get organized.” Two weeks later, they’re asking me to help them hook up a joystick and find a copy of Mech Warrior II. The next time I see them, their eyes are glazed over, their thumbs are twitching, and they can’t speak in complete sentences. In the following sections, you’ll learn about the various types of games that can turn even the most well-disciplined worker into a computer game junkie.

Exploring with Adventure/Role-Playing Games
Although computer games have recently become more diverse, adventure games are still the staple. In adventure games, you usually take on the persona of some hero, maybe Mario or Indiana Jones. You are then sent on some mission, such as stopping the Nazis from obtaining a new secret weapon or saving a kingdom from destruction.

In Myst, one of the most popular games to hit the computer screen, your job is to help this creator, called Altrus, find out who’s destroying all the cultural hot spots he has created. He suspects one of his sons. (My guess is that the old man was too busy creating things to give his sons any quality time). At any rate, the graphics and sound are great, and the game is a challenge for even the sharpest mind. This game is mostly for older kids and adults.

Shoot ‘Em Up Arcade Games
If you’re into mind-rot computer games, where you coast around toasting on-screen robots or blasting away alien ships, you might want to buy a joystick and shop for one of the many action games. Mech Warior II is one of the most popular of this genre. In it, you assemble your own robot, choosing the basic structure, armor and weapons you want to use. After a brief training session, you wander off blasting other robots, and trying not to get blasted yourself.
Another fine action game called Fury is specially designed to take advantage of the Windows 95 32-bit technology (32-bit means the sound and graphics are awesome, and the controls are smoother). In Fury, you’re in the cockpit of a futuristic spacecraft, as you fight your way through eight different worlds, blasting everything in your path. I read somewhere that this program was used to train fighter pilots in the Cuban air force.

Getting Some Virtual Exercise with Sports Games
You may be familiar with sports games on Nintendo or Sega Genesis. Well, similar games are available for PCs. For example, in Front-page Sports Football and NFL Challenge, you get to play head coach for your favorite football team. Pick your players, and call your own offensive and defensive plays. Yu can purchase programs for almost any sport, from individual sports, such as golf and tennis, to team sports, such as baseball and basketball. Although these games don’t provide the 30 minutes of aerobic exercise you need, they may keep you from eating so many doughnuts.

The Classics
In addition to the fancy new computer games, you can use your computer to play such classics as chess, solitaire, bridge and rummy.

Planning a City
Ever wonder what it’s like to plan a city? In SimCity, you get to do just that when the citizens of SimCity elect you mayor. You lay out roads and highways, attract professional ball clubs to your city, and build industrial plants and recreational areas. See the effects of your decisions on such problems as crime, pollution and inflation. If the citizens of your fair city are happy with your decisions, you can sit back and watch them prosper. Make the wrong decisions, and you can watch them depart, leaving you with no city to govern.

Before You Buy a Game
Shopping for computer games may just be the most frustrating computer activity you will encounter. The box might show monsters and spaceships lunging at you from the sales rack. When you get the program home, your screen shows monsters that look like they’re built out of Legos. The best way to shop for a game is to try it out first. If that’s not an option, use the following checklist:
 Video If you have a VGA or SVGA monitor, make sure the game supports that monitor. If you buy a game that offers only CGA support, the on-screen pictures will look blocky.
 Sounds If you have a sound board and you want a game that creates nifty sounds, make sure the program includes sounds, and that it supports the type of sound board you have .
 Controls Some games do not allow you to use a joystick. If you’re flying the latest in futuristic aircraft, you don’t want to have to fumble around with a mouse and keyboard.
 CD-ROM Because compact discs can store gobs of data, game makers can add all sorts of neat sounds, animation, and video clips to games on CD-ROM to bring them to life. If you have a CD-ROM drive, look for CD versions of your favorite games.

Education in the ‘90s
Now that Bill Clinton has promised to have a computer in every classroom by the year 2000, we will soon be dumping knowledge and wisdom into young minds by the truckload. Well, maybe not. However, computers, coupled with the right software, can be a valuable teaching tool. Educational software typically presents information in a colorful, entertaining medium that is more engaging than most lectures, and provides students with immediate feedback.
The following sections briefly show some of the available educational and reference software. Because the market is flooded with educational software, there’s really no way to cover this type of software thoroughly.
Before you go shopping for education software, do some research. Check out computer magazines for reviews, ask teachers, and ask other parents. Most software stores are reluctant to accept returns on software products, so find out all you can about a program before you buy it.

Ask your Kids for Suggestions
Before you buy an educational program, ask your kids what they want. Take them to the store with you; they might get to try out the program before you buy it. Kids won’t learn anything from a program that they won’t play with.

Getting a Jump on Reading
One of the greatest pleasures of parenthood is watching your child start to read. However it may be a very frustrating experience as well. You just don’t know what kind of exercises your child needs, and even when you do know, you may not have the patience to work through those exercises as often as needed. To help, you can purchase any of many reading and reading readiness programs for your child.
Three of the more popular reading programs on the market are Reader Rabbit, Reader Rabbit 2, and Reader Rabbit 3, which contain several games to help develop early reading and writing skills, including phonics. In Reader Rabbit 2, for example, the child can play four games to help acquire and sharpen his reading skills. In one game (the Phonics Pond), the child is challenged to catch fish that match a specific phonics rule.
Disney’s Animated StoryBook is also a good program for beginning to intermediate readers. Children can follow along as Grandmother Willow reads the story of Pocahontas.

The program also contains several games you can play with the various movie characters. The animation, graphics and sounds are terrific.

Globetrotting with Carmen Sandiego
Chances are you have heard reports about the average high-school student not being able to point out Washington, D.C on a United States map, and how the country is going to crumble because of it. If you’re overly concerned that your kids may not be able to pinpoint Washington, D.C or Baghdad, consider getting them a game called Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Carmen Sandiego makes learning Geography fun by making you solve a mystery. At the beginning of the game, Carmen or one of her fellow V.I.L.E agents has committed a crime. It’s up to you to solve the crime and find and arrest the criminal. Throughout the game, you receive clues from various people. For example, a bank teller may say, “I last saw the culprit driving away in a limousine flying a red and green flag.” Or “The person you are looking for exchanged all the dollars for rubles”. You must make the connection between the clue and where on the globe that clue refers to.

Mastering Math
Most beginning math programs on the market are designed to help kids learn counting, equalities and inequalities, and the four mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. What differentiates these programs, however are the games they use to teach the basics.
One of my favorite beginning math programs is Math Blaster, which offers four games. One of the more interesting games makes you choose the correct answer for the problem that is shown at the top of the screen. You have to shoot the little rocket man into the right spaceship to score.

Dealing with the More Creative Side
Although there are computer programs for almost every academic subject a child might encounter in school, there are also programs for the more creative, less academic subjects, such as creative writing and art. One of the most popular programs to help kids channel their creative energies is Fine Artist. Fine Artist comes with several shapes and drawing tools that kids can use to create their own pictures and story boards. Kids can also use the program to make their own signs, greeting cards, and cartoon strips. The CD that comes with this book has a working version of Creative Writer, Fine Artist’s sister program.

College and Continuing Education
Young children are not the only ones who can benefit from educational programs. College students and adults who want to improve their minds can benefit as well. Here’s a sampling of what the software market has to offer the older student:
 Typing tutorials can help you tell the difference between your home keys and your house keys. A program called Typing Tutor even comes with an arcade style game that increases your typing speed as you play.
 Standardized test programs can help you prepare for the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT and college boards. Once you have worked through the sample questions, you’ll be more comfortable and confident when it comes to taking the real thing.
 Foreign language programs can help drill you on vocabulary, sentence structure, verb tenses, and the other basics you’ll need to become fluent. For Spanish, try the Learning Company’s Learn to Speak Spanish program.
 Science programs, such as Body Works, Chemistry Works, and Orbits can help you through beginning level anatomy, chemistry and even astronomy.

Encyclopedias on a Disc
How would you like to have a 26-volume set of encyclopedias on a single disc? Encyclopedias that can play snippets of Mozart’s symphonies, show full-color pictures on your screen, and let you look up an article just by typing a portion of its name? how about a world atlas that provides a view of the globe along with information about each country? Or maybe you would like a book of mammals that lets you hear lions roar and monkeys chatter and lets you view the animals moving in their natural habitats? You can get all this and more with a CD-ROM player and the right discs.
For example, say you want to know a little bit about the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the old days, you would flip through the encyclopedia to Mozart and then read the article and look at the pictures. As for his music, the encyclopedia was of no help. With a CD-ROM encyclopedia, you stick the disk in the drive, choose Find, type Mozart, and press Enter. A list of titles appears, one of which is for Mozart. Click Mozart, and you can find out all about the composer, and you can even listen to snippets of one of his compositions.

A Complete Reference Library
If you do any writing for school, for business, or for pleasure, you probably use several reference books to help you develop your work. For example, you might use a dictionary to look up spellings and a thesaurus to find synonyms. With Microsoft Bookshelf on CD-ROM, you get several reference books on a single disc. Bookshelf contains the following six reference books that you use for home, office or school:
 The American Heritage Dictionary Contains definitions for over 66,000 words. To find a definition, you select American Heritage Dictionary from the Definitions menu, type the word you want to look up and press Enter. No more flipping pages.
 Roget’s Electronic Thesaurus Need another word for lazy? Simply press Alt+E, type lazy, and press Enter. The thesaurus gives you a list of suggestions. You can then choose a word from the list to view a list of that word’s synonyms.
 1991 World Almanac and Book of Facts This electronic book contains a hodgepodge of information about the world, including census figures, U.S economics figures, Employment figures, off-beat news stories, scientific achievements for 1990, and much more.
 Barlett’s Familiar Quotations if you like snappy quotes and insights from famous poets, politicians, and other visionaries, you’ll love this book. In addition to offering the famous quotes from the paper version of the book, the CD-ROM version makes it easy to look up quotes, either by author or by using a word from the quote.
 Concise Columbia Book of Quotations This book offers 6,000 quotes that are appropriate for speeches and presentations. The quotes are organized by subject, so you can look up quotes for subjects such as War, City Life, and even Living Together.
 Concise Columbia Encyclopedia This encyclopedia offers 15,000 pages of articles about historical topics, including everything from Greek mythology to the Iran-Iraq war.

Don’t Forget the Information Superhighway
Although this tutorial focused on educational programs, keep in mind that online information services also provide learning resources. You can take college courses online, search for information in online encyclopedia, read newspaper and magazine articles, and converse with some very intelligent people from all over the world. Part 5 will provide more information about online services and the Internet.

The Least You Need to Know
Once you get a hold of a few nifty games and educational programs, you’ll find yourself spending less and less time doing anything productive, and more time playing and browsing. While you’re at it, keep the following points in mind:
 Computers owe their increasing popularity to the fact that they provide a user with a personal video arcade.
 Don’t expect the game to look like the picture on the box.
 Before you shell out a pocketful of money for a game, make sure it can keep up with your system, and that your system can keep up with the game.
 In early learning, computers can help children practice critical tasks and express their creativity.
 Encyclopedias and other reference materials on compact discs make it easy to look up information.
 With a computer and a good collection of educational software, you can start your own magnet school. You can then play Mech Warrior while your education software turns your students into geniuses.

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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