School years: Year 7-12
Summary: An increasing number of young people are admitted to the emergency room after partying in a local dance club. As a member of the Reconstructors responsible for unusual health cases, you investigate the scene and find some strange looking vials and pills. Are they the clue to the mysterious illness? What do they contain? How can further damage be prevented? It all depends on you. - Game description from Web Adventures, RICE Centre for Technology in Teaching and Learning.
Reconstructors "Nothing to Rave About" is an online narrative game that leads you to solve drug-related cases by gathering evidence, interpreting data, conducting experiments and consulting with experts over three 45-minute episodes. You'll learn about different party drugs so that you can make informed choices about them. You'll also learn to identify which parts and functions of the brain are affected by stimulants (e.g. crystal methamphetamine 'ice') and distinguish between the physiological effects of stimulants and hallucinogens.
Developers: Rice University Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning, USA.
Evidence base: Benefits associated with playing have been evaluated in one published study (see below). The benefits have not yet been evaluated in an Australian sample.
Miller, L., Moreno, J., Willcockson, I., Smith, D., & Mayes, J. (2006). An Online, Interactive Approach to Teaching Neuroscience to Adolescents. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 5, 137-143.