Mobile Games – Now, Enjoy Your Spare Time

Mobile phones have emerged as the multi purpose electronics devices that have got many innovative features. These gadgets are used in every sector for both personal and business uses. The handsets manufacturing companies have produced several gadgets that provide one the opportunity to play different types of games. These can be played anytime and anywhere so that one can get maximum enjoyment in his or her spare time. Such games are also helpful when the users are stuck in a traffic jam and they have to wait for a long time.

The mobile games have brought a lot of excitement to the users. A lot of value-added features have been added in the advanced games that are loaded in the handsets these days. These games are very difficult to be developed and lots of money is spent on them. The mobiles manufacturers have come up with several animated items with amazing sound effects in their handsets and therefore they are in great demand. The Bluetooth compatibility and availability of infrared feature have enabled the users to enjoy the advanced games on their mobile devices.

Java is one of the most popular platforms for mobile games. However, several other platforms have also become popular in the recent times. They are Windows Mobile, Palm Operating System, Symbian Operating System, Macromedia Flash Lite, WIPI, etc. The TFT colour screens of the latest gadgets have also made the users delighted since they can play the games with more excitement and fun. Now a days, one can also find the 3D games coming into the markets that draw attention of the gamers. The user friendly joysticks and high resolution displays support such items. The themes on which the modern games are based have also changed and one can find that more high-tech items are available these days. Earlier, themes like backgammon, chess, checkers, etc. were found. Now, the modern games offer the players an effective control over the characters and create a real world like environment. One can download mobile games from different online websites and enjoy them.

The mobiles gaming world has changed significantly in the last few years. Initially, the snake-feeding items were in vogue and people used to spend a lot of time in them. Now, with rising technologies, one can find many advanced games with better graphics and effects. Considering these factors, the mobiles manufacturing companies have also come up with latest handsets that are loaded with compatible softwares and other features. Consequently, a lot of high-end handsets are available in the markets and they are equipped with latest mobile games.

A number of online sites are available to the users that provide thousands of free mobile games. The option of free downloading is also available there. One can find various items based on sports, shooting, puzzles and many other themes on these sites. As per a recent survey conducted by a leading consultancy group in the UK, more than 220 million people all over the world will be playing games on their mobile phones by the end of year 2009. It shows that there is a huge opportunity in this sector and therefore a lot of companies are foraying in this field with several amazing offers. One can also find many exciting deals and schemes that are available on different online portals. Various online contests are also run there and one can win exciting gift items by participating in them. The users can compare mobile games on different sites and choose the best available deal from there. Continuous research work is done by the companies so that they could bring more innovation in their products and therefore a lot can be expected in the future.

Should Students Learn A Musical Instrument Or Play Educational Video Games?

Do you think that educational video games could improve your child’s grades? Do you think that educational video games could teach your child “non-gaming” skills required to achieve success in life?

There is certainly a movement going on in the direction of implementing educational games into the classroom. For better or worse, it will be showing up to a classroom near you. I just don’t want you to get excited just yet.

In this article I will discuss a study done by the DimensionU Gaming Suite, which is becoming a very popular educational video game that schools are beginning to implement in their classrooms. I will then draw a comparison to another “supplemental activity,” which is learning a musical instrument in order to give you a perspective on how to improve your child’s education.

DimensionM is the Math video game of a larger gaming suite called DimensionU that covers other subjects such as Science and Reading. Below you will a read the summary of the study that DimensionU posts on their website.

Case Study: Pender County Study (UNC Wilmington)

Conducted in 2008, this study looks at the effects of DimensionM in the setting of a rural middle school of roughly 500 students, where only 63.1 percent of students were either at or above grade level on state-mandated End-of-Course testing for math.

  • Mean scores increased from 46% on the pre-test to 63% on the post-test
  • Male and female students demonstrated equitable gains

Not bad. The results are certainly encouraging, though after reading the in-depth report, (which I downloaded off their website), I was not as excited as I was when looking at the summary above.

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

My opinion is that the summary is very misleading. They make it sound like they did the study on 500 students. Look above again. Isn’t that how you interpret the first sentence of the study? In actuality, they did the study on 34 students as it states in the full report. Is it me, or is that a big difference? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being misled.

The truth is that out of 500 students in that particular middle school, only 63.1% of the students were at or above grade level in their end-of-year exams in Math. However, the gaming study was experimented on only 34 of the 500 students. In the full report, these 34 students were all below-average in Math.

Now, let’s look at the first bullet point of the study above. I don’t like the use of the word “mean.” The word sounds too scientific and covers up the real meaning of the point. Instead of “mean scores,” I would prefer “average scores” in this context. We’re not looking at any complex data here. It’s simply the average pre-test scores of the children before they began the “remediation course” or “gaming course” which I prefer to use.

It’s also important to point out that the students who participated in the study were below-average students with failing grades in Math. So certainly, there would be plenty of room for improvement by having an hour of “supplemental” activities every week for 7 weeks as the full report states. The results were that the average pre-test score went from 46% which is clearly a failing grade, to a 63% which is also a failing grade, though greatly improved.

The second bullet point is true and backed up in the report. Both boys and girls improved equally on average.

So What Else Is Wrong About This Study?

There are still some “unknowns” about this study and educational video games in general. One is, (and the full report acknowledges), that we still don’t know what the results would be of the games on standardized test scores. A second unanswered question is, How would the skills attained through educational gaming be useful in non-gaming situations? And thirdly, What are the cognitive processes used to employ these games and how can they be or could be applied to develop other academic and life skills?

I have one more big question about these games, since they claim to have an instructional component to them. DimensionM has an instructional section where students can go to in order to learn the material necessary to move on to the next level in the adventure. They must master the material to advance forward in the game.

I would like to know, if the game asks the exact same question in every level, so that the student can guess and use the process of elimination in order to move to the next level. If that’s the case, what are the students actually learning? They would just be memorizing answers if this is the case. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer because there is no information regarding this issue in the full report.

Is This An Attack On Educational Video Games?

If you’ve read this far, you may infer that I’m attacking DimensionM and other educational video games.

I am not attacking educational video games in general. I am personally in favor of some supplemental activity to improve test scores. Clearly, scores can improve with the implementation of this game. What I am attacking, is the misleading studies that put this game and others in a more favorable light than they should be.

I would like to know if this game would improve the already above-average students’ grades in Math. I would like to know if this game can only improve a failing students grades to barely passable levels, or can it make a good student “great.” I’m thinking about how our students can compete with rest of the world and not just trying to help the below-average ones.

What is the difference between two students that take the same exact class with the same teacher and one fails and the other gets an A? Is it about the parents and the home environment, or something neurological or chemical? Can gaming solve all of these problems?

A New Interactive World

The full report also claims that most students are surrounded by 6 hours of interactive media everyday and are evolving into learning only with interactive media. I have a very hard time accepting this. Where is the child getting 6 hours of media from? At home? Well, the parents need to limit that time, moderate it, and control it ferociously.

I don’t know of any geniuses or great minds throughout history that have developed their intellect by playing educational video games. The intelligence of mankind has not “evolved” with the advent of gaming.

An Ancient Interactive Tool For Learning

I get frustrated sometimes when I see the excitement when a new technology emerges that makes life just a little bit easier. Though I see the benefits and potential for educational video games, my view is that we already have an activity that we can use not only as an outside-of-the-classroom activity, but one that already has the scientific data and countless brilliant minds that have made use of it to their benefit.

I’m talking about learning a musical instrument, and learning how to play and read music. If you’ve ready my articles about Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Albert Einstein and Steven Spielberg, then you know that music has an enormous impact on the development of an intelligent mind.

Below are three case studies and their summarized results found in three nationally recognized research organizations.

  • The Journal For Research In Music Education In 2007 Found That Elementary School Students In Top-Quality Music Programs Scored 22% Higher In English And 20% Higher In Mathematics Than Their Non-Musical Peers. June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott
  • The American Chemical Society Found That Nearly 100% Of Past Winners In The Prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition (High School Students) In Science, Math, And Technology Played One Or More Musical Instruments. The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005
  • In A National Report By The College Board Documented That Students Of Music Continue To Outperform Their Non-Arts Peers On The SAT. In 2006, Students Of Music Performance/Music Coursework Scored 57 Points Higher On The Verbal And 43 Points Higher On The Math Parts Of The SAT. The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2006

The Differences Between Learning Music & Educational Video Games

If you read the summaries above, you may be thinking, “well, you just gave us the summary of the results just like DimensionM did and you didn’t go into the full in-depth report.” That’s true. And that’s why I listed my sources at the end of each study for you to read yourself. I encourage you to read the studies and see for yourself. However, I don’t know of too many people who would refute the cognitive benefits of music education. If anything, there are many people that are unaware of the benefits.

Below you will see two lists: one that summarizes just some of the scientific data found on the affects of studying music, and the other that summarizes the data found in the DimensionM study above.

Students Of All Grades/Abilities Involved In Music Education

  • 22% Higher Test Scores in English
  • 20% Higher Test Scores in Math
  • Nearly 100% of winners in Science Competitions
  • Score 57 points higher on Verbal SAT
  • Score 43 points higher on Math SAT

Below-Average Students Involved With DimensionM Educational Video Games

  • No Data found for Test Scores in English
  • 17% Higher Test Scores in Math
  • No Data found for winners in Science Competitions
  • No Data found for affects on SAT scores

Am I Being Unfair?

I will admit that I was a little unfair towards the DimensionM study because I compared several studies of music against one study of an educational video game. But, there are other case studies done by this gaming suite that provide similarly overly-hyped results. And all of the gaming suite studies were done on only below-average students while the music case studies were done on students of NOT just below-average students, but of all averages high and low.

I would also add that the music case studies were done by independent organizations that had no product that they were trying to sell. There was no special interest. On the other hand, the gaming studies using DimensionM were done by the same company trying to market its own product. Certainly, the facts would be sugar-coated. There’s no other way to see it.

Parents & Teachers: The One Thing You Should Take Away From This Article

Clearly, I have basically weakened the merits of DimensionU, one of the leading educational video games in the market. If this game or another is available to your child as a supplemental activity to help raise poor test scores, I would do it. Yes, I said to do it. It can’t hurt as long as it remains “supplemental.”

I would highly recommend that you try to get your child started in learning a musical instrument as soon as possible. The reason is because it takes time to develop the cognitive skills that come from learning music that will then translate to good grades and academic enthusiasm. The sooner the better.

Also, the benefits of learning music are more scientifically conclusive than educational games. I would not get too excited or fixated on the idea that video games can improve your child’s test scores in Math. Games have a long way to go before they can compete with music.

Technology cannot solve all of our problems!

The long term benefits of a music education are too long to list in this article. If you want to learn more, I have written many articles about the effects of music education on the mind.

Mobile Games – A Game in Your Palm

In the present scenario with the advent of technology, mobile phones are not only used for communication purposes but they have also emerged as the multipurpose electronic devices with advancement. There are many makers of mobile phones in the open market and each brand name has its own reputation among the potential customers. The present generation mobile phones act as hi-fi music systems with ear phone and speaker system, high-resolution digital cameras and interesting game houses. The main attraction of a mobile phone is its gaming feature and potential customers grab the one which has a lot loaded in it with unique features. There is a special feature of downloading games from other sources and get started with playing.

The most interesting use of a mobile phone these days are the games loaded in it. Peoples of all age from kids to youngsters to aged people all are habituated with these addictive games. Most of the branded and local mobile phones have gaming features in it. The mobile handsets provide the opportunity to play different kinds of mobile games and its technology supports it too.

In your spare time you can get maximum enjoyment by downloading the free games to your mobile. These cool types of games also help the player in de-stressing and maintain patience in personal and official life. When a person is in sadness, angry, worried or feels much lonely then mobile phone becomes a handy solution to be engaged in time pass and forget the problems which keeps the person in gloom.

Previously kids and adults pass their time playing snake-feeding games. In these games there is a need for two or more number of persons. It cannot be played single but games in mobile phones can be played single. These games will make you winner and loser with interesting scores. The most interesting games are 3-D fighting, fighter jets bombarding missiles, Alien war and star war games. These games are most popular among kids and adults too. You can also download free games from internet, other mobile devices or any other sources. There are plenty of games related to shootings, sports, puzzles, arcade and other action games.

Now in the open market, there are several kinds of online mobile phone games. They are Hindi games, Action games, Puzzles games, Fun Games and Multiplayer. Therefore you can freely download any of this game of your choice. There are many online sites which provide thousands of free mobile games.

According to the recent research study it is felt that the mobile games have really brought a lot of change and excitement in people’s lives. As most of the exciting mobile games with excellent graphics and visuals are also laden with the amazing sound effects, it is really interesting.

The technological advanced features such as Bluetooth and infrared has really enabled the mobile users to greatly enjoy the free mobile games in an interestingly better way. The modern mobile games provide the players an effective and efficient control over the given characters. The hi-tech mobile device and its unique games create a real interesting atmosphere and simulation that makes the mobile games more enjoyable.

When you are waiting in a long queue or you have a lot of time to kill or you really need a short break from the work, then the best alternative option is to get engaged in an interesting and entertaining mobile game.

5 Ways To Earn Money In The Farming Simulator 2015 Game

Online and video games have really evolved over the past few decades. From block games and shooting balloons we’ve moved up to simulation games; games that mimic our reality and culture and afford hours of enjoyment with their crystal clear graphics and lightning-fast speeds. The Farming Simulator label is one such interesting online simulation game series.

The Farming Simulator game series has been developed by Giants Software. Currently, there are 7 versions of the game with Farming simulator 15 being the latest. There are both PC and mobile versions of the game. This simulation video game brings to the screen the real farming experience. So, you grow and sell crops, breed livestock, acquire farming equipment and expand your farm as you go.

However, money is at the base of it all. The more money you have, the more you can think about developing your farm. You are provided with a reserve cash to get you started. But you realize it depletes soon and you have to earn more to make future farm purchases. Here is a list of the 5 legitimate ways to earn money in the Farming Simulator 2015 game.

1. Grow and sell crops –

Crops are the main item on a farm. Thus, buying and selling crops is the first way to earn money. You are free to choose from and grow different crop types. A tip is to choose high-earning cash crops. Fertilizing the crop increases the crop yield thereby increasing profit. It also gives you more experience when you harvest the crop. Choose a cheap fertilizer so you don’t spend too much on it.

When it comes to selling crops, do so when the price is high. Don’t be in a hurry to sell the harvested crops. You can wait for the demand to increase as it automatically raises the prices. You can check if the price is higher or lower than normal by checking the icons located beside the crop. You can also see what buyers are paying for a particular crop.

2. Missions –

There are missions generated at every level. You have to complete a given task in a given time frame. They include three types namely mowing grass, delivering crops and transporting cargo. Mowing missions earn less money, while missions involving transporting cargo have higher profits. You earn a reward, a sum of money, for every successfully completed mission. Completing a mission faster also increases your chances of earning added monetary bonuses.

3. Lumbering –

Cutting wood is one way to earn money at the start of your game. This is a new feature on the Farming Simulator 2015 game. You can manage forested areas by cutting them. The machines you need are a chainsaw and a trailer. When you have collected enough logs and wood chips, you can go to the shop and sell them. You can also unload the wood near the train.

4. Breed livestock –

Some of the animals you can breed on your farm are chicken, sheep and cows. Chickens are the easiest to keep while cows are the most time-consuming. However, in terms of earning potential, its cow husbandry that really pays off.

5. Placing objects –

You can place objects at various locations on your farm and leave them to generate money. Some of the objects you can place are greenhouses, solar collectors, wind energy converters and bee houses. All these generate a certain amount of money on an hourly basis.

Don’t sweat it when it comes to making money. Enjoy ploughing, sowing, fertilizing and harvesting and use these strategies to collect money.