Walkthrough games


Also called point and click games or point and click adventure games. Point because you guide your mouse around the screen and click on elements in the game environment in order to collect or manipulate objects. The objects and clues that can be collected, help the gamer to interract with other elements of the game and /or progress to a 'higher' stage within the game. The emphasis is on solving problems and puzzles. The stress is on the gamerusing logic and mental processing rather than quick reactions. The language generated from these types of games tend to be quite complex. This is apparent when reading a game's walkthrough. What is a walkthrough?

What is a walkthrough?

"a walkthrough is a document which attempts to teach a player how to beat or solve a particular game. Many people consider walkthroughs to be a form of cheating, but no game is suited to be a fair challenge to everyone. Walkthroughs are often made by amateurs after they have completed the game and date from the earliest text adventuresand the simplest graphic adventure and puzzle-adventure games. Now they are most common for complex games, such as role playing games and strategy games; less involved games usually have a FAQ instead." (wikipedia)

Walkthroughs can be found on the internet by typing in the 'name of a game' plus 'walkthrough'. For example, to find the walkthrough for a game called motas (mystery of time and space) in google you type in the search window:

motas walkthrough
click on the search bu[[walkthrough games list|]]tton and generally the first result is a good place to start.

Using a walkthrough game in class

If you are using a walkthrough you have just copied off the internet then you have to be careful about a few things:
  • That the level of language is a challenge to your class but is not so far in advance of your class as to render the text too difficult to understand. It may be neccessary to edit the walkthrough yourself and grade the language so as to make it more appropriate for your class.
  • Walkthroughs are not neccessarily written by native English speakers and so you may have to read and edit mistakes.
  • The styles of walkthroughs can vary from being very economical instructions ( e.g. " click on the desk and use the pen to open the drawer") to relatively long and informal (e.g. " right, now all you need to do is go over to the desk and find the pen which you'll see on the table. Once you've got that I found that you could then use the pen to get the drawer open."). You need to take this into account as the density of text and the reading skill required of the learner may change.
  • It's a good idea to try out a walkthrough yourself as they may not be complete, contain mistakes or be quite difficult to understand. If you play the game using the walkthrough before a class then you will be more aware and prepared for such problems.

I usual ask students to play with three windows open:
  1. to play the game on
  2. to read the walkthrough on
  3. to have google images up
google_I.jpg

If while playing the game a learner comes across a noun that they don't know I always ask them to look the word up in google images. This encourages a greater degree of learner autonomy.

BUT make sure that you use Googles safe search filtering setting to ensure that an innocent sounding word doesn't produce an embarrassing google image.

OR follow these simple steps.


Reading

A walkthrough can be used to practice a number of reading skills on a variety of different text styles. Generally walkthroughs can range from quite dense instructional text to a more informal continuous prose style. PC game walkthroughs and Console game walkthroughs can have some of the most extensive text. With some adaptation walkthroughs can become narrative stories.

Writing

A walkthrough can be used to orientate, scaffold or guide a learner based writing task. Examples of learner produced work can then be used/ presented in other classes to act as a model and provide an incentive for learners to produce their own texts.

Speaking

Language acquired through playing a game can be recycled into a speaking activity, such as a presentation or role play . Some games also raise awareness of real world problems which can facilitate a group discussion.