Learning through social interaction in the Space Heroes virtual world
We have been fans of Space Heroes Universe for a long time, and this is a guest post from Jasmine Elias, Community Team Leader in Bubble Gum Interactive.
A few hours of playing video games every week is all you need to become smarter. Playing the vast array of minigames in Space Heroes Universe can actually increase the abstract, critical thinking part of our brain that isn’t exercised in schools or at work. Best of all, research suggests these benefits span all age brackets.
Starting from an early age, Kenneth Ginsburg, says games “allow children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering theirfears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.”
With over one million players from more than 100 countries, communicating using 13 languages with more to come, it’s easy to develop these skills. In designing Space Heroes Universe, the team from Bubble Gum Interactive considered the different skills and thinking needed in mini-games. Some games, such as the point-and-shoot fun of games like Glow Bobble or multi-player fun of Space battles through to the physics based game play of Glow Rescue (where players learn to use gravity to their advantage) and Prism (where players learn about angles and properties of light) help to get a player’s brain involved in following instructions, solving problems, applying logic and reasoning, and fine-tuning hand-eye coordination and spatial skills. Space Heroes Universe has been used in games-based learning activities in Australian schools.
The multi-award-winning virtual world Space Heroes helps kids develop thinking in resource management and logistics, because young heroes are saving up to buy the next trick starjet, multitasking and tracking variables and managing multiple objectives – fighting a space foe is no easy feat – and quick thinking, training young minds to make fast decisions, like in Starstruck Theatre where motor skills are teamed with musical ability in the band game, or Galaxy Connect, where players are challenged to think of potential turns in a multiplayer game.
Space Heroes Universe, while designed primarily as a fun online adventure, simulates real life skills like teamwork, effortlessly arming young heroes with skills that will be critical in the future. Most of all, the game an endless source of entertainment where players dance, start a band, compete against each other, explore the far reaches of the galaxy or dive deep underwater.
Check out their Parent and Teacher resources page here, and a video of some of the best bits of the virtual world:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0wIfIfq-mY