I co-author a blog called Digital Play which is a blog aimed at language teachers who are interested in using computer games and other digital toys with learners. I'm interested to know if anyone out there knows of any games that would be suitable for this context. Games I particularly like are ones which tick these boxes: audio elements, subtitles, language content that freezes and requires a click to proceed, a strong narrative, challenging game play and puzzles (though not too difficult) content appropriate for young learners, engaging, visually attractive and ideas on how to to spin off into a language focus/ activity. Sounds like a lot to ask but the more boxes a game ticks the better.
Ok. Recently I had a conversation with the someone who posed the question "what are your favourite online games that you use in class and why?" In no particular order here are half a dozen: http://www.albartus.com/motas/ (Mystery of time and space) challenging puzzles, mouse activated object annotation and it goes on and on (save option is handy). Also popular with both boys and girls from 9yrs up to late teens. Stage 07 - has an engaging storyline and audio is delivered at a reasonable speed (and supported by text in the form of speech bubbles) and has multiple choice text puzzles. State of debate - BBC game, engaging storyline that appeals to teens, video scenes with subtitles, and text multiple choice scenarios that influence the video characters decisions and is a great platform for discussion. Droppy - another nice for all ages game. Short and sweet stages and great for 'play & pen' activities using phrasal verbs. Grow cube - game that walks a thin line between genius and the genuinely weird but great for scaffolding creative writing activities. Gig - cartoon style look and interesting music band theme for teens though content occasionally borders on the risque. Still the interactive elements are fun and the humour is actually funny.
Sounds like a great event and will forward a proposal before the Jan deadline but not sure I'll be able to make it. Ironically (I don't know if it is intentional or coincidental) the conference is being held in the location where the popular arcade video game 'street fighter' was filmed for the big screen. Would be a great opener at a talk and I bequeath all rights to the idea to you. lol. Watch this space.