George Lucas Educational Foundation

Gaming Camp

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My division is hoping to get some grant money to support a middle school gaming camp this summer -- would love to hear what games folks would recommend or even how they think we should structure it!

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Andrew Miller's picture
Andrew Miller
Instructional Coach at Shanghai American School

What are the overall objectives of the Gaming Camp? That might help identify the best games.

Sarina's picture
Graduate Student - Education Policy

Kyle, I would highly recommend Kurt Squire's CivCamp (based around Sid Meier's Civilization game). He implemented the game in a summer program for at-risk kids, and it had an impressive impact. You can find his paper here or read about it in his book:

Civilization V is the most recent edition, but I would recommend III or IV (it's also cheaper). This is a turn-based strategy game (that is, not in real time) where players play as one of the famous civilizations, such as Alexander of Greece, Napoleon of France, Catherine of Russia, and Gandhi of India.

Every player (this can be played solo or online with friends) begins with a single settler and eventually (hopefully) nurtures their civilization to a full-blown civilization via technology, culture, economy, and military. The player must balance all four to have a competitive civilization, but they may choose to focus on one. There are several ways to win the game, whether by winning the space race (technology), taking over all the other civilizations (military), fill out five "culture trees" to develop the Utopia project (culture) or winning by diplomacy in the United Nations. This is very helpful for people who play and learn in different manners (personally, I like to win by diplomacy).

Hope this helps!

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