A few years ago, Myst was just another PC game that was played by millions around the world, not even considered as a tool for education.
One of the first adopters was Tim Rylands, who began to use the game in his lessons. Tim used the highly visual game to create teaching strategies that engaged children (especially boys), to think, write and imagine.
With the growing popularity of the iPad, the developers have ported the game over from PC, with the same high quality graphics.
Myst is essentially an adventure game with mystical, musical and eerie lands to explore. Teachers and pupils can travel through the world together, solving puzzles and discussing problems and choices as they go. As Tim Rylands explains: “Children are swamped by high quality visual images all the time. My job is to give them the visual literacy skills to explain to them what it is they are watching.” He asks them to describe surroundings or write about a specific encounter — giving children all of the creative control.
As the app has no time limit or nasty monsters to fend off, you can move around the map at your own pace, exploring forests or relaxing to the view of a beautiful sunset.
It’s a great app for group discussions, but most of all, a fantastic resource for inspiring writing and thinking.