Consolidate Your Love Of Learning And Gaming With These Brain-Building Video Games

Consolidate Your Love Of Learning And Gaming With These Brain-Building Video Games

Games are a great way to waste time, but they don’t get you any closer to learning to read music or speak a new language. Except they totally do.We want to show you some ways to use video games to help you learn real skills for the real world. If you’ve ever thought about taking up a hobby, but decided against because it cut into your Starcraft time, here are some ideas for ways to fuse your interests and become a more productive gamer.

1. Give Your Brain A Tune-Up

MiniclipAddicting GamesSimon

BRAIN AGE –claims to make you sharper by playing for 10 minutes a dayhave been disputedincreasing your life expectancyBrain Age

LUMOSITY –Lifehacker like itLumosity

2. Improve Your Typing

Gaming-Themed Typing Games –

GIRP – There are also lots of flash games out there as well, but many of them are below board, and might not be as helpful as you’d like. In that realm, I recommend GIRP– a typing game that doesn’t teach you the positions of the keys, so much as it forces you to memorise each letter’s position in relation to every other. [GIRP] [imgclear]

3. Learn To Play An Instrument

Despite the fact that the music genre is currently in the middle of a meteoric plummet out of the world of gaming, games like Rock Band and Power Gig still have a chance to survive in the post-Guitar Hero gaming landscape as legitimate means of learning how to play the guitar.

ROCK BAND 3 – With Rock Band’s new pro mode, players are actually playing their instruments rather than pretending. Players can plug in their special Rock Band-ready guitars and learn the basics of real guitar playing. Learning to play the keyboard on RB3 is even easier; any MIDI keyboard can plug into the game… with an adaptor, of course. [Rock Band] [imgclear]

ROCKSMITH – Ubisoft’s upcoming music game, Rocksmith, also teaches you how to play the guitar. Rocksmith’s one advantage over Rock Band is that it’s compatible with any guitar. [Rocksmith] [imgclear]

I bet a lot of you expected that to be the end of the music section, huh? Well We ain’t done yet.

SHEET MUSIC TRAINER – Learning how to read sheet music can be a chore, but if you use the Sheet Music Trainer on the iPhone, you can make that less interesting part of music a little more fun. [iTunes]

5. Learn Another Language

JAPANESE IMPORTS – High school students often times watch movies or read books in a foreign language for school to help them learn other languages, how is playing games any different? For years, JRPG fans have been importing games that will never see a US release for over a decade now; these guys started learning Japanese to play games, but it was playing those imports exclusively in Japanese that helped them go from novice poser to fluent fanboy. Japanese isn’t the only language you can that way. Why not play Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood in Italian? Having trouble with your French accent? Try Heavy Rain.[imgclear]

SMARTPHONES – There are also a TON of more direct language aids available through smartphone. Some are more engaging, and some are thinly veiled study apps.


American Sign Language Alphabet game – Match up the symbols to learn the ASL alphabet. [iTunes] [imgclear]

Mindsnacks (French + Spanish) A set of games to help you learn French or Spanish. [iTunes (Spanish)] [imgclear]


Kanji Tutor (Japanese) A quiz game to help you remember your Kanji. [Android Market] [imgclear]

Survive! Series (Japanese, Italian, Spanish) Get around in a foreign country using your foreign language skills. [Android Market (Japanese)] [imgclear]

Obviously, the best choice for every individual is based on their own learning style, but there are a lot of options, so just because one language tool doesn’t seem to click with you, don’t worry about it. There are tons of other options on the table.

6. Get Better At Games

FPS Trainer –FPS TrainerFPS Trainer

7. Learn To Draw

ART ACADEMY –Art AcademyArt Academy

8. Learn Some Scripture

As it turns out, smartphones, both iPhone and Android, are apparently a solid resource for someone (Christians, mostly) to connect with their faith… through trivia! If knowing the bible, chapter and verse, is important to you then these apps seem like they might be helpful.

Bible Books (iPhone) A trivia game focused on teaching you to remember the names and order of the books of the new testament. [iTunes] [imgclear]

Brain Cafe: Test your faithAndroid Market

9. Learn How To Weather The Perfect Storm

OK, so this is a stretch.

In anticipation of buying the largest cruise ship in the world – “The Oasis of the Seas” – Royal Caribbean created the STAR Center, a set of life-sized bridge simulators, in Florida to teach the crew how to pilot the mammoth sea vessel. The STAR Center simulators will recreate scenarios ranging from idealistically calm caribbean waters to hurricane-class winds. Looking at it, the bridge simulator doesn’t look especially fun. That is, of course, because it’s not meant to be. The simulations exist to teach crews how to handle a massive ship and keep its passengers out of harm’s way. Then again, if you love being the captain of an enormous ship, then I bet this thing is awesome.[imgclear]

10. Learn To Get Out Of A Burning Building?

created a simulator to show staff and students the best way to evacuate many of the campus’ buildings in the event of a fire

Got a favourite brain-building game that you don’t see above — or just want to talk up your favourite? Let’s hear it in the comments.


Log in to comment on this story!