Team Picks

Emily’s Pick:

For the past few years, I have been working full time as a high school teacher, coming home to loads of laundry and sick kids, and working on my MET. Now I stay at home with the sick kids and work on my MET. Either way, a lot of Kleenex and a stress-reliever are needed. Problem solved.

A game that focuses on relieving stress by focusing on the positive. It takes the whole “laugh and the world laughs with you” idea to new heights. This could be used in material dealing with stress (for example a parenting, lifeskill or workplace behavior program) or psychology. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I played “the matrix”. It sounds cheesy, but try it and you’ll see. Enjoy and keep smiling!




Julie’s Pick: PeaceMaker – Play the news. Solve the puzzle.

I specialize in training programs for adults in the workplace and do quite a bit of work with business analysts. The core skill for analysts is problem solving. In business it seems that there is a new problem to solve every day. Businesses don’t work in a vacuum so analysts need to know how to continually take in new information, make a decision, and then react to the results of those decisions. This is why I found PeaceMaker so intriguing.

I was impressed by the integration of news stories and video to bring a strong sense of reality to the game. The ability to play opposing sides allows the player to gain more perspective about the issues. The game is well researched and the player learns a lot from actual media clips about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I think that PeaceMaker, and games like it would be effective ways to provide insight into the complexity of international and foreign policy setting so it could be useful at the University level and in adult education related to current events. Similar games could be designed specific to workplace environment that would embed corporate training videos, information about changing regulations or current industry analysis.

You can access a demo version here and it will take you about ten minutes to be up and running. Warning: you may want to go back to play Emily’s pick after a few minutes spent in this interactive environment.


Andrew’s Pick: Brain Age 2

A busy life (full-time work, MET, learning German, exercise, and a fiancé) makes it pretty hard to justify playing games. But Brain Age 2 is the exception. It is a game designed to keep your brain young. It’s filled with mental exercises that you can do for a few minutes each day to keep you sharp. Most importantly, it is fun for adults! Nintendo has done a great job of finding a balance between entertainment and educational challenges. My gamer-gamer friends will play Brain Age 2 with their morning coffee before picking up their X-Box controller to hunt zombies. For me, Brain Age 2 is a great companion on the train during my morning commute. I start off the day a little more focussed and maybe even a little bit smarter than yesterday. All that from a ‘ just a Nintendo game’.

(There is also a version of Brain Age 2 available for the iPhone called My Brain Age)


Michelle’s Pick: Words with Friends

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a gamer. Words with Friends (and Hanging with Friends) are my current “educational-like-so-I-don’t-feel-too-guilty” games that I’m playing. It’s a great way to expand your vocabulary as you and your opponent strive to come up with the highest scoring word. Yes, it’s a knock off of Scrabble but I enjoy it more than the Scrabble app that is out there. I’m themusicwoman if anyone wants a game.

I have to add that my 6 year old daughter and I are also enjoying a game called DragonVale. She’s learning that different dragons earn you different amounts of money, that dragon eggs take a certain amount of time to breed (what’s breeding, mommy?) and that we must be patient and that you need food to feed new baby dragons (that are oh so cute!). In other words, both mommy and her have totally been sucked into the game 🙂


Tamara’s Pick: Sims Social on Facebook

Sims is a game so many have played but the advent of it being put on Facebook is something worth mentioning. As an ESL teacher I chose this game for it’s great opportunities for learning vocabulary words like clothing, parts of the body, money etc.  It is a virtual ‘authentic’ environment to talk to friends both synchronously and asynchronously, and navigate in an English environment.  The launch of the Sims on facebook allows students to access it for free (a VERY important point) and easily.



Donna “the ‘Costume-collector’”. (2009). Brain Age 2. Amazon. [image]. Retrieved online September 26th, 2011 from

MindHabits Inc. (2009). MindHabits Trainer online demo. [image]. Retrieved online September 15, 2011 at

The Sims Social. (2011).  The Sims. [image]. Retrieved online September 28, 2011 at



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