College at Home published a list of their top 25 best games for learning in the classroom. The Sims 2, SimCity 4 and the upcoming game Spore made the list.
#14 Spore: While not slated for release until late 2008, this highly anticipated game has the potential to be an incredibly powerful tool in the classroom for teaching students about evolution and the behavior of organisms. The game allows students to create a creature which they can help evolve from a multi-cell organism to an interstellar exploring species.
#22 Sim City 4: The latest incarnation of this classic sim game requires players to manage the finances, growth, resources and location of a city. Students will get the chance to build cities in all kinds of environments, compete or collaborate with neighboring cities and follow the lives of individual citizens. This will give them a better understanding of how cities and communities are managed and allow them to see the effects of cities on the environment and on their citizens.
#23 Sims 2: Students will be able to create their own miniature neighborhoods and take on the identity of an individual of their own design. The Sims helps students to learn about the relationship between education, success in careers, and the development of interpersonal relationships. The game presents students with simple cause and effect relationships of their decisions, and they can see how they play out in real time.
I have to be honest, I learnt a great deal from The Sims series along with SimCity. For example, I know that when someone has an accident and uses the bathroom on themselves, the only mess that is left to clean up is a blue puddle. Oh, and it’s true, “weakness” really does “pay” in the end…just not in terms of money. 😛