We need some games for amateur radio

November 13, 2012 Dan KB6NU

About a month ago, I was driving early on a Saturday morning, and heard a TED talk, “Gaming can make a better world,” by a woman named Jane McGonigal. She is a game designer, and she thinks that if we can somehow harness the energy that gamers put into computer games, we can solve all kinds of world problems. Now, that may be arguable, but what isn’t arguable is that computer games can be powerful motivators.

So, what does this have to do with amateur radio? Well, I think we need some amateur radio games. These games could be used to help people learn what they need to know to get their licenses. There might also be some games that teach people how to send and receive Morse Code. Remember, games are great motivators.

I developed an amateur radio game—Tech Pursuit—several years ago. I made up some question cards that could be used with a Trivial Pursuit board and markers. I tried using this with a middle school class that I was working with at the time, but it wasn’t a huge success. For one thing, the game Trivial Pursuit isn’t really aimed at kids. Whatever the reason, I decided not to update the question cards when Tech question pool was updated two years ago.

So, what do you think? Do you think a ham radio game could get more people interested in amateur radio? Could a game motivate people to get their amateur radio licenses? Could we use games to teach amateur radio skills?

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