Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Hang-Man

There are a number of formats you can use to create Casual Educational Games. One such format is based on the popular paper and pencil game, Hang-Man.

Hang-Man can be made into an educational game to teach acronyms or memorized information by adding a definition to the game. Instead of simply guessing a word by providing a bunch of letters, the learner is given a definition and must guess the letters that represent the term related to the definition. The player thinks about the definition and associates it with the term as they play the game. The player competes against the clock seeing how quickly she can guess the right term. This simple Hang-Man game can greatly speed the time it takes to employees’ to learn new terms and definitions.

The Hang-Man concept can be modified to be played in several different ways. For example, the traditional game has a decidedly negative connotation (a person hanging by the neck until dead.)

It is possible to change the “hang-the-man-until-dead” theme to one such as“freeing a road runner.” The concept is the same; guess the correct letters when given a definition within a certain number of tries only the graphics are changed to be less offensive to an academic or corporate environment.

Play the Road Runner Hang-Man game here.

The game was created by Greg Walsh. You can check out his blog titled “Instructional Technology HQ” here.

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Leave a Comment (2) ↓


  1. Rupa July 17, 2007

    Your blog is just too good.

    I have also written a couple of articles on Gaming and Learning here:

  2. Chris Carro September 25, 2006

    I like the idea you mention of taking games that have been popular in the past and making new modifications to them. I think casual games can be a great way to lure in the masses due to their familiarity. Creating new game can also be powerful but they have to be balanced in terms of difficulty as all the classics are.

    I also wanted to note this recent article called Learning Through Play:

Karl Kapp
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