Tuesday, May 12, 2009
SciRave: Making Science Physically Fun
SciRave is a game that has the same concept as Dance Dance Revolution, which gets players physical active while playing video games, but it also adds in science. The music to the dances have science themes so players can learn science topics and create a positive interest in science. Not only are the songs sung, but the lyrics are also written at the bottom of the screen to make sure players can understand the lessons.
I think SciRave is an excellent idea, but it could use some work. I definitely enjoyed playing the game, it was just as fun as playing other forms of DDR. However, I question how helpful it is in actually learning the science topics. After playing the songs a few times, it was still very hard to understand the lyrics and pay attention to the lyrics because I was concentrating on hitting the steps correctly. I guess if a player plays the game over and over, they will start to learn the lyrics to the songs and thus the science concepts. I basically had to stop trying to hit the steps and look at the lyrics to see if the songs would actually teach science topics. When I did that, I was then worried about failing the level so I stopped looking at the lyrics. Some songs were better than others. I think the best song was "S.I. Robot" which taught the International System of Units. I didn't even need to look at the lyrics to understand what the song was saying and it was valuable information. Some songs didn't even seem to have that valuable information such as "It's Alive" and "Life Science." The remaining songs, "All the Pieces" and "Back at the Start" had valuable information but it was hard to hear and understand the lyrics while playing.
I think there is a lot of potential for this game, the creators just have to work on better songs that have more information as well as easy to understand and hear. I think playing the game was tons of fun, but I think if its hard for kids to learn, they might just turn to other DDR games which play popular songs they already know and enjoy.
Above I made a video using http://www.xtranormal.com/ to simulate what one student telling another what he learned while playing the game. Take a look! (sorry for the characters mispronunciation of SciRave)