Games for Learning - Riven

As a young gamer my favourite games were RTS (Real Time Strategy), 2D and 3D FP (First Person) Adventure and Puzzlers. I could never grasp the attraction of Sports or Racing titles. Games such as Chrono Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island and Dizzy stole most of my gaming time until the release of the ‘Command and Conquer’ series and then ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Myst’. It’s this last entry which has stuck with me the longest. A series of adventure games (and books) following the story of the fall of the D’ni civilisation. Myst itself was a profoundly engaging game but its sequel, ‘Riven’ was where I truly fell in love with the series and as an educator have gone back for countless learning experiences.

Here are my thoughts and experiences on using Riven in the classroom:

Despite it's age, Riven as a game is still one of the most effective games I have used in the classroom. Riven is a FP Adventure game. Played in the first person as though you yourself were on the island and looking through your own eyes. It is also a point and click adventure. As you navigate the beautifully imagined world, stunning scene by scene you are encouraged to explore the landscape and architecture through pragmatism and curiosity. Clicking on points of interest, textured scenery and objects and clicking buttons or pulling levers. Riven is ultimately a puzzle game. A mystery to be solved. Riven is available on the PC or on the Playstation 1 (PSOne). When working in schools I use the Playstation 2 (PS2) as the games are compatible and a PS2 is easier to get a hold of.

The world of Riven...