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Ask HN: Any good examples of learning through games/puzzles, for adults?
391 points by justaguyhere 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 137 comments
Puzzles, games etc with the intention of teaching of some concept or topic. In any format (board games, digital games etc).

Any examples?




Steve Reich’s Clapping Music aims to teach people how to perform a piece of contemporary music from the ground up: http://clappingmusicapp.com/

[full disclosure] I developed this. We collaborated with London Sinfonietta Orchestra to get the pedagogy right.

We aimed to make a game that is both engaging and addictive, whilst also teaching real musical skill (in contrast to say Guitar Hero :o). The pedagogy and game mechanics did clash into each other during development, we did a lot of user testing to find a balance. Raph Koster's Theory of Fun for Game Design was invaluable, as were lectures and posts by Daniel Cook.

It's a hard game, especially for people with no musical background, but nonetheless we had strong engagement.

Players who topped the leaderboard after a few months were invited to perform at a live event. They were pretty good, but then I didn't see them perform before they played the game.


I'm tickled that my book was helpful!


[tangent]

Speaking of Steve Reich, if you haven't yet listened to his glorious Music for 18 Musicians ensemble piece (duration: 55 minutes), do give it[1] a try.

An explanation of the composition and its structure:

http://www.18musicians.com/genreunique.html

http://www.boosey.com/pages/cr/catalogue/cat_detail?musicid=...

[1] https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJWO2FQ16c

[/tangent]


That's incredible that you got to work on something with Steve Reich. I saw him recently at the SF Symphony and he performed some clapping music pieces alongside Michael Tilson Thomas. Steve Reich is a legend for sure!


Excellent app! And great music. Had so much fan playing it instead of sleeping last night.

There’s only one thing I wish (musician here): slightly bigger visual distance before strong beats? Or make a circle a itty bit larger? This is the only reason I might prefer musical notation for sight reading.

Technical question: can you tell about latency? What’s the typical? Is it consistent across devices?

PS now I have to beat this thing on hard...


Is there any chance for an android version?


Right? Or even an online version where you tap the space bar or something


Good idea too!


Thanks for making that game! When I was trying to learn better rhythm, I found it really interesting. I never got very good at it, but it was an engaging tool.


I liked Human Resource Machine for brushing up on Assembly language concepts

Microcorruption is a fun resource for learning about reverse engineering, assembly language, and cybersecurity (the concept is that you're going through the assembly code of dev kits of different versions of software-controlled locks to find vulnerabilities that can then be exploited to get into warehouses full of MacGuffins). I've gotten through about half of the stages so far--they get really tough, but it is extremely satisfying to successfully complete one!

I also really enjoyed the couple of Zachtronics games I've played (I've done the first 5 stages or so of Konstructor: Engineer of the People and I managed to get through all the main modules in TIS-100)

Lightbot is a cute app for initial programming concepts through puzzles (program a robot to walk around a grid and light up various squares)


Along the same lines, Silicon Zeroes covers a lot of low-level computer science and hardware engineering concepts. I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising instructor has used it for labs.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/684270/Silicon_Zeroes/


Seconded, Human Resource Machine and Zachtronics in general!


https://exercism.io

Learn virtually any programming language by completing series of puzzles. Tests are all written for you. They just made a huge overhaul of their UX, and it’s really nice looking. I’m using it to try to learn Rust and Elixir at the moment.


Exercism is a great resource. Their tests are thorough and reading other users' code submissions has helped me immensely.

Their new look is a lot less devilish. :)



Are there any on the list here that are best for learning algorithms in a manner similar to a course curriculum and has explanations? I'm asking from a self-taught web dev (django) perspective where I have holes in my knowledge. Some algo books I have so far seem too mathy. While not afraid of math, I understand it better when coding them out myself.

I wish projecteuler would provide more hints/explanations. Adventofcode problems are fun but are random (not like a curriculum). Other websites are competitive programming focused which I'm not sure is comp-sci enough (correct me if I'm wrong).


So for beginner/intermediate alg/data structures challenges with explanations and solutions I would recommend the following resources:

1. Read the Algorithm Design Manual.

2. Practice coding simple and then more advanced algorithms on sites like Coderbyte (aimed at beginners -> intermediate) and HackerRank (a bit more mathy).

3. Read as many algorithm explanations and code examples as you can on GeeksforGeeks.

4. Try and implement basic algorithms yourself like: shortest path, minimum spanning tree, DFS/BFS, tree traversals, different sorting algs, min/max heap, etc. and learn their running times.

* Also this article may be helpful for you: https://medium.com/coderbyte/how-to-get-good-at-algorithms-d...


Not on the list, but you might find http://interviewbit.com more structured


Yeah, +1 for InterviewBit. Courses here are a way more structured and gamified.


Leetcode seems like something u are looking for as well


I can recommend 2 books "competitive programmer handbook" and "algorithms unlocked" - none of these books is too mathy


http://www.hakank.org/picat/ has the most examples, good explanation of the problems, and elegant, short solutions.



halite.io reminds me of screeps on steam


Ah yeah I forgot to mention screeps which is awesome!


Some more I actually should have mentioned:

https://flexboxfroggy.com (CSS)

https://www.datacamp.com (data science challenges)

https://www.codingame.com/start (learn to code via fun games)

https://screeps.com (cool MMO AI game w/ JS coding)


Great list, thank you


So all Zachtronics games. Also Kerbal space program. Fantastic game, you'll learn about celestial mechanics, the basics of designing rockets (and if you keep playing, stuff like the Oberth effect and how to do a nice interplanetary Hohmann transfer )


https://ncase.me

Nicky Case has a knack for explaining complex systems in simple ways through games


I think about the network theory one almost every day, can't recommend it highly enough: https://ncase.me/crowds/


Wow! That was amazing. I'd love to see that applied to Reddit / Subreddit / User networks.


Nicky is also involved in this: https://explorabl.es


Very interesting. I had never heard of him before and found them very interesting.


Factorio is a fantastic game for learning systems engineering, and thinking in abstractions. It’s a crafting game similar to Minecraft, and a building game like roller coaster tycoon (but factories instead of theme parks). It’s also very very fun!

This game challenges the player to create more and more complex automated systems.

If you liked Technic Mods for Minecraft, you’ll love Factorio.

https://factorio.com/


Don't try this game on an evening before you need to wake up early.

Wonderful game, extremely engrossing: everything you do is a choice between long-term utility and time until implementation - Do you make something that will do what you need for the next five minutes in 1 min of building or something that will do what you what you need for days with a 20 mins of building?

Everything is a good choice, but some choices speed up your growth faster than others. I've had many nights where I've gotten sucked in and played for hours before realizing how late it is. Games with exponential growth curves that are able to still achieve balance create such an exhilarating feeling of progress.


Oh god I've sunk some time into that game! Definitely recommend it, but set a timer!


Seconded. Factorio is the sort of game you can lose a few days to without realizing. Very fun, but also very consuming.


I like Duolingo for language learning: https://www.duolingo.com/

I don't think its enough to actually learn language on its own, so it's best used mixed with a more formal method of language learning. It's fun and addictive enough that I actually keep using it, so that makes it good to me.


Check out their new Stories program if you haven’t yet. I've found it to be a refreshing change of pace, compared to the typical lessons. As the name implies, you're presented a story, and after each sentence, they quiz you on the meaning of the sentence that you just encountered.

https://stories.duolingo.com


A radio ad for the second season of the Duolingo podcast prompted me to check out the first season.

I appreciate the idea that the episodes are life stories instead of fake cafe scenes. The stories are interesting, and sometimes intense. The CEO / cofounder talks about a kidnapping in his family in the last episode of season one.

The small english summaries every few sentences helps provide context. That helps with context for the words I'm not familiar or strong with.

The language used is intermediate level. Personally I am below that level, but have gotten value from episodes.


I've been doing Duo (French) for a couple of months, but a I'm not sure I've learnt anything, it just feels like I've reinforced past learning.

I started Chinese, and it just seems so much of a mish-mash - it's like they just randomise testing and eventually you glean enough from the test questions to answer.

With French the closest I've come to learning, that I can point to, is from users answers to comments from other user. And the good and bad are mixed, there's no clarity.


Duo taught me japanese characters, but I had a hard time really improving my french grammar from it. There's no substitution for in-person conversation.


I’d highly recommend fluent forever instead. You’ll actually learn a language instead of thinking you are without making progress. It’s also much much faster.


Have you tried italki.com? Better than playing games to learn a language(never works) and better than killing yourself slowly through classroom learning.


I learned a lot about aviation as a kid/teenager playing the Microsoft Flight Simulator. All the important instruments, flight control, radio navigation, flight patterns etc. Good times on Meigs Field.


I was playing Flexbox Zombies for a little while and really enjoyed it.

> This is a Mastery Game. Each section unravels part of the plot, gives you mastery over a new flexbox concept, and presents zombie survival challenges that force you to solidify your new skills like your life depends on it.

https://flexboxzombies.com [free]

He also has a new one called "Grid Critters", which I'm unfamiliar with but it looks like it's a similar thing but space themed and for CSS Grid instead of Flexbox.

https://www.gridcritters.com [paid]

His blog is also really awesome too: http://gedd.ski/


I found flexboxfroggy (http://flexboxfroggy.com) to be an excellent resource for learning flexbox when I came across it.

Just enough gamification, and enough straight concepts to allow me to build confidence quickly and make it a bit easier to remember the knobs flexbox offers.


I used to tutor at a coding class for high school kids and I never saw them more engaged than they had been with flexbogfroggy!


Not really a full "game", but I found this picture-based Morse code trainer from Experiments with Google a fun and easy way to learn Morse code: https://morse.withgoogle.com/learn/

http://nandgame.com was posted on HN recently and I found it to be fun and educational: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17508151


I once had an idea to make a Morse code learning game, where the message would be emitted by a distant warship in a storm emitting flashes of light in your direction :) to add some emotion to the task :) but never really tried to execute on it yet.


When I would meet non English speakers they always told me they learned English by playing FINAL FANTASY on super nintendo. One day, after several attempts at learning another language it dawned on me "Why don't I play Final Fantasy in -INSERT LANGUAGE YOU WANT TO LEARN HERE". It works like a charm and you'll find the "translation barrier" will be removed very quickly.


I play too much CSGO and was hoping to leverage that to find a group of French players, but I've not really managed yet, still only learning to swear in Russian ... another suggestion is to watch a favourite program on Netflix in your target language. Most adult stuff is too fast/complex for me as yet though, so I'm looking for a kids show (Hello Duggy in French would be super).


Have you seen Muzzy? Animated story intercut with more standard (but still fun) language learning segments. Idea is that you watch the whole thing in one language and then in another.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzy_in_Gondoland


Works with learning a language through enjoying other media as well. Read Harry Potter or other popular books in another language, watch movies dubbed in that language and so on. Some day (today?) even machine-translated stuff will be good enough to learn from.


Can you explain further, why final fantasy?


The language is fairly simple, you have compelling plot and characters to drive interest. Why not?


There's https://vim-adventures.com/ although I never really enjoyed it, it was a fun game for the first 15minutes.


I also opened this thread to recommend Vim Adventures. I tried teaching myself vim with standard walkthroughs but it was too difficult to remember all of the different key combinations.

Vim Adventures was so effective because it only lets you use the keys that it teaches you, and slowly expands the key set over time. Well worth the $25 if you want a guided introduction.


I opened this page to recommend vim-adventures.

A few years ago I tried to get into vim off and on for over a year. I played this game for a few hours and all of a sudden I had the muscle memory needed to navigate vim. I've been a happy vim user for years now.

I can't explain it, but there is something about games that really reinforce this kind of learning.


I enjoyed it a lot in level 1, great game design I learned things that I wouldn't have sat down to learn. How many levels do you get before you have to pay $25?


Zachtronics and Kerbal were already mentioned, but I accidentally learned to recognize several types of plants from playing Skyrim. We visited the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada at about the same time as I had reached mid game in Skyrim. I saw a shrub and immediately knew it was a juniper. I don’t think I’d ever seen a real one in my life before that.


In terms of learning hacking, there are CTF/wargames that teach through puzzles.

Gracker: https://www.smrrd.de/creating-a-hacking-game-part-1-introduc...

Overthewire: http://overthewire.org/wargames/

Exploit Exercises: https://exploit-exercises.com/

PicoCTF: https://picoctf.com/

P.S. I would love to work on making educational puzzles. If anyone is similarly passionate about it, please message me.


Raymond Smullyan's books can teach a fair bit about logic, up to about Godel's theorems and the halting problem (I remember To Mock a Mockingbird fondly), through carefully written sequences of puzzles that lead up to proofs of them.

If you try to go through his books encoding the puzzles and their solutions in Coq, then you'll learn quite a lot about Coq and constructive mathematics also.


An interesting idea! I've long wanted to go through more of his books, and I've also long wanted to learn Coq, so that sounds like an interesting combination.

Have you found it worthwhile to learn Coq?


I learnt it mostly for the sake of learning something new, I didn't really think at the time whether it would be worthwhile. It's a very specific tool developed by people in very specific fields of CS (type theory, compiler verification, but I could be wrong about this), so I just never felt bad about not having a use for it myself.

Encoding (a subset of) the puzzles as SAT problems for something like z3 would be an alternative to Coq.



There's Euclidea mobile app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hil_hk.euc...) which starts with basic geometric constructions and then really pushes for new approaches.


A game of connecting different topics on Wikipedia: https://thewikigame.com

The public game room has lots of general random topics, or you can create a private group and make your own challenges with any topics you like.

This is a personal/passion project of mine (and has gotten fairly popular these days). I'm actively working on improving the game, by adding category specific games, different game modes, etc.


Introduction to Probability with Texas Hold'em Examples

Not a game but a book about a game, but learning the game helps you learn probability, permutations and combinations.


http://www.zachtronics.com/kohctpyktop-engineer-of-the-peopl... is moderately idealized CMOS logic design.


I played Khan Academys "World of Math"-missions as if it was a game. It really helped with my mental arithmetic and memorizing middle school equations, for which I did understand the concept, but could never remember.

https://www.khanacademy.org/mission/math (need login)


in the 70s on the PLATO system (predates the internet) there was a game called bugs and drugs.

It was a graphical dungeon in orange/black 512x512 where you used medicines to attack diseases. Medical students used it to learn pharmacology.

The PLATO network functionality predates much of the internet.

<<PLATO's most popular game, is one of the world's first MUDs and has over 1 million hours of use.[citation needed]. The games Doom and Quake can trace part of their lineage back to PLATO programmer Silas Warner.>>


http://www.flexboxdefense.com/

Really appreciated this back when I was first introduced to CSS Flexbox.


I have collected a few here. Mostly around topics of programming.

https://github.com/dakaraphi/development-resources/blob/mast...


http://lyricstraining.com does language teaching by having you watch/listen to music videos in that language on youtube and filling in the lyrics. Super fun!


https://zty.pe/

A very addictive game if you want to improve your typing.


We at http://draftss.com has part of a process where we test designers through a game in which we provide a finished design. Then we change the brief's key element, Eg. premium, fun, serious, friendly, affordable, complex. This game helps us in learning and teaching the principles of visual design. It's currently used internally, but we are planning to launch it for public and making the whole thing open source.


Play The Witness (the-witness.net). The game is full of puzzles which each teach you a different concept. It's a great experience to play this game. Avoid spoilers!


You don't learn any transferable skills tho, all you do is get better at solving The Witness puzzles.


You may also become a better landscape designer.


I think Dear Esther taught me more about environmental design


Then be sure to try Ethan Carter!


"Get started making music" by Ableton is really good !

https://learningmusic.ableton.com


Learn DevOps, Cloud and automation by solving challenges: https://instruqt.com


Leadership and decision-making through Banner Saga.

How to be social through New York Nights and Miami Nights (mobile games).

Anthropology/History through Civ... Obviously :)


Here's a neat puzzle game that got posted several months ago, on the quantum mechanics of photons:

http://play.quantumgame.io/

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15905924


Try any popular RPG, or otherwise dialog-heavy game with quests and instructions and such, but switch the language package. For example I did this with the Diablo games to help me learn Polish. A cool part is you pick up a lot of archaic vocabulary that your average native speaker doesn't even know. :)


I did this while i was actively trying to learn korean, playing Maplestory 2 and League of Legends on the kr servers

Minorly successful, fun atleast. I'd suggest it


Bloxels ... http://home.bloxelsbuilder.com/

And if you are into geopolitics, history, wargaming, classical, etc, 0AD ... https://play0ad.com


We created Word Genius for iOS and Android: https://curious.com/wordgenius

It teaches facts about all kinds of subjects hidden in a crossword-like game. Free to play, with IAP hints. 4.7 rating.


Escape Team is great for learning about team collaboration:

https://www.escape-team.com

It's a printable, app-supported escape game. There's also a mission editor for creating custom missions.


"The Cryptopals Crypto Challenges" (a.k.a. Matasano Crypto Challenge)

https://cryptopals.com/

"This is a different way to learn about crypto than taking a class or reading a book. We give you problems to solve. They're derived from weaknesses in real-world systems and modern cryptographic constructions. We give you enough info to learn about the underlying crypto concepts yourself. When you're finished, you'll not only have learned a good deal about how cryptosystems are built, but you'll also understand how they're attacked."


Circuit scramble is a fun game on Android for learning and visualizing logic circuits. It's not directly relevant to anything I do, but I enjoyed playing through it.

Factorio does a decent job teaching the intuition behind running a factory.


I know a lot of other comments are for learning life skills but if you ever wanted to learn Vim in a fun way!

https://vim-adventures.com


Two of my favorites:

1. Monopoly, with no "house rules" - play it exactly as written in the game manual. Monopoly was created as a teaching tool about the outcomes of unregulated capitalism, and it is a very, very good teacher. At some point, one or two players will accrue enough wealth to become the clear winners, and all the other players will start a slow spiral into poverty. Over the years people have added "house rules" in an attempt to make the game more friendly and fun, which is completely missing the point. It's not intended to be friendly or fun, it's intended to educate!

2. The Parable of the Polygons: https://ncase.me/polygons/. Arguably not much of a game or a puzzle, but its use of interactive game-ish mechanics makes the story much more impactful.


The Incredible Proof Machine for learning various logics: http://incredible.pm/


Factorio is one of the most stimulating games I've ever played. It forces one to think about not only layout/design of a system but also the project management aspects - which parts to build when, when to take on "technical debt" by building a temporary "good enough" version, etc.

...this is if you don't look up hints/other people's designs, of course.


Here's two. One to learn hexadecimal http://flippybitandtheattackofthehexadecimalsfrombase16.com/

hair-nah, to teach people not to touch black women's hair. http://hairnah.com/


To learn Chinese get wordswing. It's an interactive gamebook where you can hover words you don't know. It's amazing.


http://robocode.sf.net / http://robowiki.net

Released by IBM in 2001 and still going strong. Learn about geometry, trig, stats, ML, control theory, game theory and more to control robots in a 2D tank-style game.


Our company has recently released a boating safety course done through an interactive story. Might be the kind of thing you're looking for:

https://www.ilearntoboat.com/washington/



Try Elevator Saga[1] for an in-browser javascript programming game that will learn you some things about distributed queues, potentially.

[1] https://play.elevatorsaga.com/


www.nandgame.com

it was a couple of days ago on HN, really loved it and learned something from it.


Honestly the kid section of bookstores is amazing to me. There are so many hyper pedagogical book/games/labs to learn about anything. I don't know why we don't shop there as adult


https://algebra.sympathyforthemachine.com/

Basic algebra, but from a more proof-oriented perspective.


https://david-peter.de/cube-composer/

Functional programming concepts in a visual presentation.


Meqanic: http://meqanic.com

Game that attempts to teach intuition about quantum mechanics and particularly quantum computer circuits.


Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 taught me the names of the various car bits and that clients never change (something is wrong, pls fix it by checking every possible part)


I have been using the wonderful seterra.com to improve my geography, it's the first decent geography quiz that I've seen that has a lot of nice categories


With a slightly different approach to the question:

I've learned a lot from coding board/puzzle games into playable programs/solvers: Boggle, Scrabble, Kakuro, etc.


https://blitztactics.com

Fast-paced chess puzzles for teaching chess tactics through pattern recognition


In the past, there was http://robocode.sourceforge.net/ for Java.


Https://yousician.com teaches you play musical instruments via a guitar-hero like game interface. Also supports your own/community content


Robot odyssey (google for binaries and play in dosbox). Intended for kids, but definitely age-appropriate for adults, and hard as nails.


http://isotope.ch Not about CS, but about chemistry. And in French.


The board game Monopoly was originally based on the Landlord's Game by Elizabeth Magie, which was intended to show how property ownership ruins free market capitalism. Land can't be created or moved, so is not a free market (according to Adam Smith). People are forced to pay extortionate rents and have no way to escape.

Not widely known at the time or now, so perhaps not a very successful example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_(game)#Early_history


Kerbal Space Program. You will intuitively understand orbital mechanics after a few days playing this game.


I think the Swift Playgrounds are an excellent way for an adult to get a feel for coding on iPad.


brilliant.org


Those show up with a minute of sponsored distraction inside SO MANY youtube videos (any video about math or puzzles from the last year) that I started to dislike instead of like them

An example of too much advertising having adverse effect, at least on me :p


Do you have udemy telling you Python is a powerful programming language before every YouTube video as well?


Brilliant is definitely more prevalent in the kinds of videos that I tend to watch.


Almost any game by Zachtronics.

In particular:

Opus Magnum

Shenzhen I/O

TIS-100

SpaceChem


I've had a great time with Rocksmith for learning guitar


Portal + Portal 2

115 comments without any mention, is this too obvious?


I loved these games. I can't remember learning from them. What have I forgotten?


Basic physic concepts, like gravity, friction, velocity or optics. If you were already familar with these concepts then training/experimenting would be a better description than learning. Afaik there were even schools using this game in classes.


The Pioneer: Oregon Trail game.


pythonchallenge.com


I can't emphasize this site enough. The Python Challenge has a special place in my heart. I was a bored C# .NET developer. In my downtime I would poke at a challenge. I learned Python through this site; picking up the standard library as the challenges progressed. From my experience with this site I was able to land a Python webdev position.

pythonchallenge.com changed the course of my career and I'm grateful for it.


This is a good one. I was going to post it. It's good that I checked before I duplicate the same content.


Conversa is a conversational and ideation tool using board game dynamics that we've developed: http://lifeandeverything.net/

By scaffolding good conversations, it helps a group learn _from each other_ as well as _how to converse_. Through our trials, I've been delighted to see how well it works with families. I've learnt much about my children's thinking and feelings.

A bit more info: We believe two things are needed to bring together differing groups into fruitful dialogue. Firstly, a set of clear, explicit, and strict rules that everyone submits to (regardless of existing power structures). Secondly, a relaxed, playful and fun context. These two seem in tension, and yet we integrate them all the time - with games.

Conversa is a tabletop game that helps a group talk about the big things in life in a way that's real, safe, and fun. It's an ideation and conversational scaffold that uses game dynamics to create the right amount of structure to let conversations flourish. It was designed by award-winning game designer, Tim Roediger, from an original concept by Martin Olmos.

Conversa is the anti-Facebook experience. Players meet in person, facing each other rather than their screens. They share an intimate time where it's 'just us', with no wider audience watching or judging. They respond to a prompt creatively, from a limited set of image cards. They get to see each other smile, hear each other chuckle, while tasting a shared drink. Each gets a turn without being shouted down, although no one has to say more than they want to. It's a real game, with a score and a winner. But there's a twist - the points go to the player who opens opportunities for others to speak up. Rather than insults, the outcome is conversation that builds relationships with listening, learning, and laughing.

We've trialled it in organisational contexts and with children as young as eight. We're looking at applications in design, team ideation, project reviews, risk assessment, and more. Below are two examples: Project Management: http://blog.lifeandeverything.net/post/147037633043/gaming-f... Focus Groups: http://blog.lifeandeverything.net/post/147037631598/gaming-f...

We are exploring paths to market. We are also exploring ways for larger groups (50-200) to use the game (e.g. company conferences, strategy development).

Disclosure: I'm in the two-person design team.


LeetCode


Wanna learn history? Pick up some of the Paradox grand strategy games; Europa Universalis, Victoria, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings. A side effect is that you'll pick up a lot of geography by osmosis, which is in my experience, the easiest way to learn that subject - you're looking at maps and borders and terrain features constantly.

Wargaming is in general a good way to pick up information on historical topics. Most developers that are in that niche put a lot of effort into doing the research, and there is typically a lot of information baked into the in-game documentation at your fingertips, not to mention being a springboard for Wikipedia safaris.


> A side effect is that you'll pick up a lot of geography by osmosis, which is in my experience, the easiest way to learn that subject - you're looking at maps and borders and terrain features constantly.

My son loves Crusader Kings 2 (and EU3), and had such an easy time in his history class because of this. He knew the geography of Europe down cold.

He's currently digging into Hearts of Iron IV.

To be honest these grand strategy games aren't really my thing but I should give them a shot. Their systems just seem overwhelming to a new player.


definitely agree here. i think i know a tremendous amount about ww2 history since it's a hobby of mine, but wouldn't ya know, through playing hearts of iron 4 i've learned a tremendous amount more about the era and by extension how it shaped the world afterward.

you're also 100% correct regarding geography. it's hard to get a real feeling for exactly how huge asia is until you're having difficulty getting supply to your front line deep in northwestern china. not to mention that i have a pretty good feeling for where all of the tiny pacific islands are now (attu island, i'm looking at you).




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