Educational Games not as fun as Non-Educational Games

The Slate has up a rambling almost non-article where the Justin Peters bemoans the fact that games that are designed to be educational are not as fun as games where education is an added feature.

Any child of the 1980s and 1990s will remember Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and Math Blaster Mystery: The Great Brain Robbery, games that promised to make skills acquisition fun. They’ll also remember ditching Mavis Beacon for something with guns as soon as their parents’ backs were turned. Making games educational is like dumping Velveeta on broccoli. Liberal deployment of the word blaster can’t hide the fact that you’re choking down something that’s supposed to be good for you.

I’m a child of the 1980s and I’ve never played either of those games, and I enjoy a good cheese sauce on my broccoli. So I’ll concede that he may not be talking to me.

He also posits some rhetorical questions such as: “Can a game still be called a game if it isn’t any fun?” Which, if you’ve ever played a game off of the $5 or under rack, you know the answer.

Though the article itself may or may not be the greatest in the world, it’s an interesting thought exercise.

Link! to the full article (via Joystiq)